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J Biol Chem. 1999 Jun 4;274(23):15986-9.

Functional interaction between the N- and C-terminal halves of human hexokinase II.

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Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, Tennessee 37232, USA.


Mammalian hexokinases (HKs) I-III are composed of two highly homologous approximately 50-kDa halves. Studies of HKI indicate that the C-terminal half of the molecule is active and is sensitive to inhibition by glucose 6-phosphate (G6P), whereas the N-terminal half binds G6P but is devoid of catalytic activity. In contrast, both the N- and C-terminal halves of HKII (N-HKII and C-HKII, respectively) are catalytically active, and when expressed as discrete proteins both are inhibited by G6P. However, C-HKII has a significantly higher Ki for G6P (KiG6P) than N-HKII. We here address the question of whether the high KiG6P of the C-terminal half (C-half) of HKII is decreased by interaction with the N-terminal half (N-half) in the context of the intact enzyme. A chimeric protein consisting of the N-half of HKI and the C-half of HKII was prepared. Because the N-half of HKI is unable to phosphorylate glucose, the catalytic activity of this chimeric enzyme depends entirely on the C-HKII component. The KiG6P of this chimeric enzyme is similar to that of HKI and is significantly lower than that of C-HKII. When a conserved amino acid (Asp209) required for glucose binding is mutated in the N-half of this chimeric protein, a significantly higher KiG6P (similar to that of C-HKII) is observed. However, mutation of a second conserved amino acid (Ser155), also involved in catalysis but not required for glucose binding, does not increase the KiG6P of the chimeric enzyme. This resembles the behavior of HKII, in which a D209A mutation results in an increase in the KiG6P of the enzyme, whereas a S155A mutation does not. These results suggest an interaction in which glucose binding by the N-half causes the activity of the C-half to be regulated by significantly lower concentrations of G6P.

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