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Plant Physiol. 1996 Sep;112(1):343-51.

Purification and characterization of pyrophosphate-dependent phosphofructokinase from phosphate-starved Brassica nigra suspension cells.

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  • 1Departments of Biology and Biochemistry, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada.


Previously, we reported that inorganic phosphate (Pi) deprivation of Brassica nigra suspension cells or seedlings leads to a progressive increase in the alpha: beta-subunit ratio of the inorganic pyrophosphate (PPi)-dependent phosphofructokinase (PFP) and that this coincides with a marked enhancement in the enzyme's activity and sensitivity to its allosteric activator, fructose-2,6-bisphosphate (Fru-2,6-P2). To further investigate the effect of Pi nutrition on B. nigra PFP, the enzyme was purified and characterized from Pi-starved B. nigra suspension cell cultures. Polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, immunoblot, and gel-filtration analyses of the final preparation indicated that this enzyme exists as a heterooctamer of approximately 500 kD and is composed of a 1:1 ratio of immunologically distinct alpha (66 kD) and beta (60 kD) subunits. The enzyme's alpha subunit was susceptible to partial proteolysis during purification, but this was prevented by the presence of chymostatin and leupeptin. In the presence and absence of 5 microM Fru-2,6-P2, the forward activity of PFP displayed pH optima of pH 6.8 and 7.6, respectively. Maximal activation of the forward and reverse reactions by Fru-2,6-P2 occurred at pH 6.8. The potent inhibition of the forward activity by Pi (concentration of inhibitor producing 50% inhibition of enzyme activity [I50] = 1.3 mM) was attributed to a marked Pi-dependent reduction in Fru-2,6-P2 binding. The reverse reaction was substrate-inhibited by Pi (I50 = 13 mM) and product-inhibited by PPi (I50 = 0.9 mM). The kinetic data are consistent with the hypothesis that PFP may function to bypass the ATP-dependent PFP in Pi-starved B. nigra. The importance of the Pi nutritional status to the regulation and predicted physiological function of PFP is emphasized.

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