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Microbiology. 2017 Nov;163(11):1604-1612. doi: 10.1099/mic.0.000542. Epub 2017 Oct 6.

Phosphoglycerate kinase acts as a futile cycle at high temperature.

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1​Molecular Enzyme Technology and Biochemistry (MEB), BiofilmCentre, Faculty of Chemistry, University of Duisburg-Essen, Duisburg, Germany.
2​Department of Biochemistry, Stellenbosch University, Private Bag X1, Matieland 7602, South Africa.
4​MIB, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK.
3​Molecular Cell Physiology, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


In (hyper)thermophilic organisms metabolic processes have to be adapted to function optimally at high temperature. We compared the gluconeogenic conversion of 3-phosphoglycerate via 1,3-bisphosphoglycerate to glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate at 30 °C and at 70 °C. At 30 °C it was possible to produce 1,3-bisphosphoglycerate from 3-phosphoglycerate with phosphoglycerate kinase, but at 70 °C, 1,3-bisphosphoglycerate was dephosphorylated rapidly to 3-phosphoglycerate, effectively turning the phosphoglycerate kinase into a futile cycle. When phosphoglycerate kinase was incubated together with glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase it was possible to convert 3-phosphoglycerate to glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate, both at 30 °C and at 70 °C, however, at 70 °C only low concentrations of product were observed due to thermal instability of glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate. Thus, thermolabile intermediates challenge central metabolic reactions and require special adaptation strategies for life at high temperature.


NMR spectroscopy; archaea; gluconeogenesis; kinetic modelling; thermal degradation; thermophiles

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