Bigley, Andrew N. (2009-05). Investigations on the Mechanism of Allosteric Activtion of Rabbit Muscle Glycogen Phosphorylase b by AMP. Doctoral Dissertation. Thesis uri icon


  • Much work has been carried out on glycogen phosphorylase over the last seventy years. Interest has persisted due not only to the usefulness of phosphorylase as a model system of allostery, but also due to the connection to the disease state in type II diabetes. The bulk of research consists of structural studies utilizing the wild-type enzyme from rabbit muscle. In this study we have employed linkage analysis in combination with structural perturbations via site-directed mutagenesis to test kinetic models of activation of phosphorylase b by AMP, and to examine the roles of the N-terminus, the acidic patch, ?-helix 1 and the 280?s loop in activation by AMP. Experiments have been carried out on purified glycogen phosphorylase b variants to determine the effects of perturbations in vitro. The kinetic models of activation by AMP are found to be a relatively accurate description of kinetic behavior of wild-type phosphorylase b, but are found to be technically incorrect with respect to the absolute requirements of two equivalents of AMP to be bound prior to catalysis. Phosphorylase b demonstrates activity in the absence of AMP, though only at high concentrations of phosphate, and a hybrid phosphorylase b with only a single functional AMP binding sight shows slight activation. The truncate ?2-17 shows weakened binding to AMP and phosphate in the apo enzyme, but maintains activation by AMP to an affinity similar to that of wild-type, indicating that the N-terminus is not required for activation by AMP, but has a role in establishing the affinity for both AMP and phosphate in the apo enzyme. Perturbations of the acidic patch indicate that interactions between the acidic patch and the N-terminus enhance the affinities in the apo enzyme, suggesting that the structures of the N-terminus at the acidic patch may represent an active form of the enzyme. ?-helix 1 is found to have a role in homotropic cooperativity in phosphorylase b, but not in heterotropic activation by AMP, while the 280?s loop is confirmed to have a role in the heterotropic coupling between AMP and phosphate. Based on the findings in this study an alternate structural model of activation by AMP involving ?-helix 8 is proposed.

publication date

  • May 2009