Disentangling the web of allosteric communication in a homotetramer: heterotropic inhibition of phosphofructokinase from Bacillus stearothermophilus. Academic Article uri icon


  • A strategy for isolating each of the four potentially unique heterotropic pairwise allosteric interactions that exist in the homotetramer phosphofructokinase from Bacillus stearothermophilus is described. The strategy involves the construction of hybrid tetramers containing one wild-type subunit and three mutant subunits that have been modified to block binding of both the substrate, fructose 6-phosphate (Fru-6-P), and the allosteric inhibitor, phospho(enol)pyruvate (PEP). Each type of binding site occurs at a subunit interface, and mutations on either side of the interface have been identified that will greatly diminish binding at the respective site. Consequently, four different types of mutant subunits have been created, each containing a different active site and allosteric site modification. The corresponding 1:3 hybrids isolate a different pair of unmodified substrate and allosteric sites with a unique structural disposition located 22, 30, 32, and 45 A apart, respectively. The allosteric inhibition exhibited by the unmodified sites in each of these four hybrids has been quantitatively evaluated in terms of a coupling free energy. Each of the coupling free energies is unique in magnitude, and their relative magnitudes vary with pH. Importantly, the sum of these coupling free energies at each pH is equal to the total heterotropic coupling free energy associated with the tetrameric enzyme. The latter quantity was assessed from the overall inhibition of a control hybrid that removed the homotropic interactions in PEP binding. The results do not agree with either the concerted or sequential models that are often invoked to explain allosteric behavior in oligomeric enzymes.

published proceedings

  • Biochemistry

author list (cited authors)

  • Ortigosa, A. D., Kimmel, J. L., & Reinhart, G. D

citation count

  • 20

complete list of authors

  • Ortigosa, Allison D||Kimmel, Jennifer L||Reinhart, Gregory D

publication date

  • January 2004