Towards an Understanding of Nutrient Signaling and Metabolic Operation

YeastX examines the regulatory processes that take place in yeast cells in order to develop a fundamental modeling concept to clarify molecular biology phenomena.

Essentially, all biological processes are orchestrated through a precise and dynamic regulation of cell behavior, which is initiated by the cell’s ability to "read" environmental conditions and signals and "translate" them into intracellular commands, and to "react" with appropriate responses. This control system is highly interconnected and dynamic because of the large number of molecules and multiple types and strengths of interactions between them. 

Understanding the processes

The findings of molecular research provide important qualitative and schematic understanding of many processes involved in this control system. However, comprehensive mathematical and computational models are indispensable to understand these processes on a system level. YeastX aims to understand fundamental metabolic processes and to develop sophisticated experimental and computational methods using yeast (S. cerevisiae or bakers' yeast) as a model system.

Glucose and nitrogen metabolism

The project focuses on the glucose and nitrogen metabolism of yeast cells because the numerous networked interactions involved in these processes are highly representative for the complexity of biological systems in general. Yeast cells are probably the most obvious test-bed for ideas and theories on a system level because experimental verification is feasible, even at the genome scale. Furthermore, molecular processes and their fundamental control mechanisms are often highly conserved from yeast to higher organisms. 

Combining different capacities

YeastX brings together leading Swiss groups from theory and biology. By combining the unique experimental capacity at the Institute of Molecular Systems Biology with the mathematical and computational expertise in Zurich as well as the yeast signal transduction expertise at the ETH Zurich and the University of Basel, the project proposes to extend the scope of the previous analyses to dynamic modeling of metabolism and the regulation and information networks that control it.

Principal Investigator Prof. Uwe Sauer, Institute of Molecular Systems Biology, ETH Zurich
Involved Institutions ETH Zurich, University of Basel, University of Zurich
Number of Research Groups 9
Project Duration Aug. 2008 - Dec. 2012
Approved Funds CHF 6.341 million

Updated September 2012 


Prof. Uwe Sauer
Institute of Molecular Systems Biology
ETH Zurich
Wolfgang-Pauli-Str. 16
CH - 8093 Zurich
phone +41 44 633 36 72

YeastX Publications

YeastX featured in X-Letter
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