The energetic landscape of the allosteric regulatory mechanism of rabbit muscle pyruvate kinase (RMPK) was characterized by isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC). Four novel insights were uncovered. (1) ADP exhibits a dual property. Depending on the temperature, ADP can regulate RMPK activity by switching the enzyme to either the R or T state. (2) The assumption that ligand binding to RMPK is statedependent is only correct for PEP but not Phe and ADP. (3) The effect of pH on the regulatory behavior of RMPK is partly due to the complex pattern of proton release or absorption linked to the multiple linked equilibria which govern the activity of the enzyme. (4) The R ↔ T equilibrium is accompanied by a significant ΔCp, rendering RMPK most sensitive to temperature under physiological conditions. To rigorously test the validity of conclusions derived from the ITC data, in this study a fluorescence approach, albeit indirect, that tracks continuous structural perturbations was employed. Intrinsic Trp fluorescence of RMPK in the absence and presence of substrates phosphoenolpyruvate (PEP) and ADP, and the allosteric inhibitor Phe, was measured in the temperature range between 4 and 45°C. For data analysis, the fluorescence data were complemented by ITC experiments to yield an extended data set allowing more complete characterization of the RMPK regulatory mechanism. Twenty-one thermodynamic parameters were derived to define the network of linked interactions involved in regulating the allosteric behavior of RMPK through global analysis of the ITC and fluorescent data sets. In this study, 27 independent curves with more than 1600 experimental points were globally analyzed. Consequently, the consensus results substantiate not only the conclusions derived from the ITC data but also structural information characterizing the transition between the active and inactive states of RMPK and the antagonism between ADP and Phe binding. The latter observation reveals a novel role for ADP in the allosteric regulation of RMPK.
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