Isolation of a single activating allosteric interaction in phosphofructokinase from Escherichia coli. Academic Article uri icon


  • Escherichia coli phosphofructokinase 1 (EcPFK) is a homotetramer with four active and four allosteric sites. Understanding of the structural basis of allosteric activation of EcPFK by MgADP is complicated by the multiplicity of binding sites. To isolate a single heterotropic allosteric interaction, hybrid tetramers were formed between wild-type and mutant EcPFK subunits in which the binding sites of the mutant subunits have decreased affinity for their respective ligands. The 1:3 (wild-type:mutant) hybrid that contained only one native active site and one native allosteric site was isolated. The affinity for the substrate fructose-6-phosphate (Fru-6-P) of a single wild-type active site is greatly decreased over that displayed by the wild-type tetramer due to the lack of homotropic activation. The free energy of activation by MgADP for this heterotropic interaction is -0.58 kcal/mol at 8.5 degrees C. This compares to -2.87 kcal/mol for a hybrid with no homotropic coupling but all four unique heterotropic interactions. Therefore, the isolated interaction contributes 20% of the total heterotropic coupling. By comparison, wild-type EcPFK exhibits a coupling free energy between Fru-6-P and MgADP of -1.56 kcal/mol under these conditions, indicating that the effects of MgADP are diminished by a homotropic activation equal to -1.3 kcal/mol. These data are not consistent with a concerted allosteric mechanism.

published proceedings

  • Biochemistry

author list (cited authors)

  • Fenton, A. W., & Reinhart, G. D

citation count

  • 20

complete list of authors

  • Fenton, Aron W||Reinhart, Gregory D

publication date

  • November 2002