Cancer-associated somatic mutations in human phosphofructokinase-1 reveal a critical electrostatic interaction for allosteric regulation of enzyme activity.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Biochem J, Volume 480, Issue 17, p.1411-1427 (2023)


Allosteric Regulation, Carbohydrate Metabolism, Humans, Neoplasms, Phosphofructokinase-1, Static Electricity


<p>Metabolic reprogramming, including increased glucose uptake and lactic acid excretion, is a hallmark of cancer. The glycolytic &#39;gatekeeper&#39; enzyme phosphofructokinase-1 (PFK1), which catalyzes the step committing glucose to breakdown, is dysregulated in cancers. While altered PFK1 activity and expression in tumors have been demonstrated, little is known about the effects of cancer-associated somatic mutations. Somatic mutations in PFK1 inform our understanding of allosteric regulation by identifying key amino acid residues involved in the regulation of enzyme activity. Here, we characterized mutations disrupting an evolutionarily conserved salt bridge between aspartic acid and arginine in human platelet (PFKP) and liver (PFKL) isoforms. Using purified recombinant proteins, we showed that disruption of the Asp-Arg pair in two PFK1 isoforms decreased enzyme activity and altered allosteric regulation. We determined the crystal structure of PFK1 to 3.6 Å resolution and used molecular dynamic simulations to understand molecular mechanisms of altered allosteric regulation. We showed that PFKP-D564N had a decreased total system energy and changes in the electrostatic surface potential of the effector site. Cells expressing PFKP-D564N demonstrated a decreased rate of glycolysis, while their ability to induce glycolytic flux under conditions of low cellular energy was enhanced compared with cells expressing wild-type PFKP. Taken together, these results suggest that mutations in Arg-Asp pair at the interface of the catalytic-regulatory domains stabilizes the t-state and presents novel mechanistic insight for therapeutic development in cancer.</p>