Catabolism of pyrimidines in yeast: A tool to understand degradation of anticancer drugs

Gorm Andersen, A. Merico, Olof Björnberg, Birgit Andersen, K. D. Schnackerz, D. Dobritzsch, Jure Piskur, C. Compagno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (SciVal)


The pyrimidine catabolic pathway is of crucial importance in cancer patients because it is involved in degradation of several chemotherapeutic drugs, such as 5-fluorouracil; it also is important in plants, unicellular eukaryotes, and bacteria for the degradation of pyrimidine-based biocides/antibiotics. During the last decade we have developed a yeast species, Saccharomyces kluyveri, as a model and tool to study the genes and enzymes of the pyrimidine catabolic pathway. In this report, we studied degradation of uracil and its putative degradation products in 38 yeasts and showed that this pathway was present in the ancient yeasts but was lost approximately 100 million years ago in the S. cerevisiae lineage.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)991-996
JournalNucleosides, Nucleotides & Nucleic Acids
Issue number9-11
Publication statusPublished - 2006

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Biological Sciences


  • yeast
  • uracil degradation
  • pyrimidines
  • evolution
  • cancer


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