6-Phosphofructokinase-1-kinase (PFK) tetramers catalyse the phosphorylation of fructose 6-phosphate (F6P) to fructose 1,6-bisphosphate (F16BP). Vertebrates have three PFK isoforms (PFK-M, PFK-L, and PFK-P). This study is the first to compare the kinetics, structures, and transcript levels of recombinant human PFK isoforms. Under the conditions tested PFK-M has the highest affinities for F6P and ATP (K0.5ATP 152 µM; K0.5F6P 147 µM), PFK-P the lowest affinities (K0.5ATP 276 µM; K0.5F6P 1333 µM), and PFK-L demonstrates a mixed picture of high ATP affinity and low F6P affinity (K0.5ATP 160 µM; K0.5F6P 1360 µM). PFK-M is more resistant to ATP inhibition compared with PFK-L and PFK-P (respectively, 23%, 31%, 50% decreases in specificity constants). GTP is an alternate phospho donor. Interface 2, which regulates the inactive dimer to active tetramer equilibrium, differs between isoforms, resulting in varying tetrameric stability. Under the conditions tested PFK-M is less sensitive to fructose 2,6-bisphosphate (F26BP) allosteric modulation than PFK-L or PFK-P (allosteric constants [K0.5ATP+F26BP/K0.5ATP] 1.10, 0.92, 0.54, respectively). Structural analysis of two allosteric sites reveals one may be specialised for AMP/ADP and the other for smaller/flexible regulators (citrate or phosphoenolpyruvate). Correlations between PFK-L and PFK-P transcript levels indicate that simultaneous expression may expand metabolic capacity for F16BP production whilst preserving regulatory capabilities. Analysis of cancer samples reveals intriguing parallels between PFK-P and PKM2 (pyruvate kinase M2), and simultaneous increases in PFK-P and PFKFB3 (responsible for F26BP production) transcript levels, suggesting prioritisation of metabolic flexibility in cancers. Our results describe the kinetic and transcript level differences between the three PFK isoforms, explaining how each isoform may be optimised for distinct roles.
- enzyme kinetics
- muscle metabolism