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Biochemistry. 1989 Aug 22;28(17):6841-7.

Dissection of the effector-binding site and complementation studies of Escherichia coli phosphofructokinase using site-directed mutagenesis.

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  • 1Cambridge University Chemical Laboratory, U.K.


A systematic study by site-directed mutagenesis has been conducted on the effector site of phosphofructokinase from Escherichia coli to delineate the role of side chains in binding the allosteric activator, GDP, and inhibitor, PEP, and to search for key residues in the allosteric transtion. Target residues were identified from the crystal structure of the enzyme-nucleoside diphosphate complex. It is found that both activator and inhibitor bind to the same set of amino acid side chains. Deletion of positively charged groups (Arg21, Arg25, Arg54, Arg154, and Lys213 mutated to alanine) weakens binding of both effectors by 2-3 kcal/mol, consistent with the disruption of charged hydrogen bonds. Residue Glu187, which is known from the crystal structure to bind the coordinated Mg2+ ion of GDP, is found to have a unique behavior on mutation and appears to be crucial in triggering the allosteric transition. All other residues mutated simply weaken binding of both PEP and GDP in a parallel manner. However, mutation of Glu----Ala187 reverses the roles of GDP and PEP, causing GDP to become an allosteric inhibitor and PEP an activator. Mutation of Glu----Gln187 has only a small effect on the binding of PEP, and both PEP and GDP are inhibitors. Studies are described in which mutations in different subunits of a tetrameric complex complement each other. The effector site is composed of residues from two subunits. In particular, Arg21 and Lys213 in each site are from different subunits. Mutations of either one of these residues abolishes activation by GDP of the homotetramer.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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