Structural and functional energetic linkages in allosteric regulation of muscle pyruvate kinase

J. Ching Lee, Petr Herman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

4 Scopus citations


The understanding of the molecular mechanisms of allostery in rabbit muscle pyruvate kinase (RMPK) is still in its infancy. Although, there is a paucity of knowledge on the ground rules on how its functions are regulated, RMPK is an ideal system to address basic questions regarding the fundamental chemical principles governing the regulatory mechanisms about this enzyme which has a TIM (α/β) 8 barrel structural motif [Copley, R. R., and Bork, P. (2000). Homology among (βα)8 barrels: Implications for the evolution of metabolic pathways. J. Mol. Biol.303, 627-640; Farber, G. K., and Petsko, G. A. (1990). The evolution of α/ß barrel enzymes. Trends Biochem.15, 228-234; Gerlt, J. A., and Babbitt, P. C. (2001). Divergent evolution of enzymatic function: Mechanistically diverse superfamilies and functionally distinct superfamilies. Annu. Rev. Biochem.70, 209-246; Heggi, H., and Gerstein, M. (1999). The relationship between protein structure and function: A comprehensive survey with application to the yeast genome. J. Mol. Biol.288, 147164; Wierenga, R. K. (2001). The TIM-barrel fold: A versatile framework for efficient enzymes. FEB Lett.492, 193198]. RMPK is a homotetramer. Each subunit consists of 530 amino acids and multiple domains. The active site resides between the A and B domains. Besides the basic TIM-barrel motif, RMPK also exhibits looped-out regions in the α/β barrel of each monomer forming the B- and C-domains. The two isozymes of PK, namely, the kidney and muscle isozymes, exhibit very different allosteric behaviors under the same experimental condition. The only amino acid sequence differences between the mammalian kidney and muscle PK isozymes are located in the C-domain and are involved in intersubunit interactions. Thus, embedded in these two isozymes of PK are the rules involved in engineering the popular TIM (α/β) 8 motif to modulate its allosteric properties. The PK system exhibits a lot of the properties that will allow mining of the ground rules governing the correlative linkages between sequence-fold-function. In this chapter, we review the approaches to acquire the fundamental functional and structural energetics that establish the linkages among this intricate network of linked multiequilibria. Results from these diverse approaches are integrated to establish a working model to represent the complex network of multiple linked reactions which ultimately leads to the observation of allosteric regulation of PK.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMethods in Enzymology
PublisherAcademic Press Inc.
Number of pages33
StatePublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameMethods in Enzymology
ISSN (Print)0076-6879

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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