Adenosine 5' triphosphate is a universal molecule in all living cells, where it functions in bioenergetics and cell signaling. In order to understand how the concentration of ATP is regulated by cell metabolism and in turn how it regulates the activities of enzymes in the cell it would be beneficial if we could measure ATP concentration in the intact cell in real time. Using a novel aptamer-based ATP nanosensor, which can readily monitor intracellular ATP in eukaryotic cells with a time-resolution of seconds, we have performed the first on-line measurements of the intracellular concentration of ATP in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. These ATP measurements show that the ATP concentration in the yeast cell is not stationary. In addition to an oscillating ATP concentration we also observe that the concentration is high in the starved cells and starts to decrease when glycolysis is induced. The decrease in ATP concentration is shown to be due to the activity of membrane bound ATPases such as the mitochondrial F0F1 ATPase hydrolyzing ATP and the plasma membrane ATPase (PMA1). The activity of these two ATPases are under strict control by the glucose concentration in the cell. Finally, the measurements of intracellular ATP suggests that 2-deoxyglucose (2-DG) may have more complex function than just a catabolic block. Surprisingly, addition of 2-DG induces only a moderate decline in ATP. Furthermore, our results suggest that 2-DG may inhibit the activation of PMA1 after addition of glucose.
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