A protein kinase which phosphorylates pyruvate kinase (PK) in vitro was purified and characterized from the foot muscle of the anoxia-tolerant gastropod mollusc Busycon canaliculatum. Purification involved four steps: poly(ethylene glycol) fractionation, affinity chromatography on Blue agarose, ion-exchange chromatography on phosphocellulose and preparative isoelectric focusing (pI = 5.5). The activity was monitored by following changes in pyruvate kinase I50 values for l-alanine which have previously been linked to changes in the degree of enzyme phosphorylation. The correlation between enzyme phosphorylation and changes in the l-alanine inhibition constant was also directly demonstrated in the present paper by radioactively labelling PK with [τ-32P]ATP. The final purified protein kinase solution gave a single band on SDS-gel electrophoresis with a molecular weight of 37000 ± 2000. Kinetic analysis of the purified protein kinase (PK-kinase) showed a pH optimum of 7.0, an absolute requirement for magnesium ions (Km = 1.29 mM), a relatively high affinity for MgATP (Km = 57 μM), and inhibition by increasing salt concentrations (I50 = 55 mM KCl). The protein kinase activity was not affected by either spermine, heparin, cAMP, cGMP or concentrations of CaCl2 less than 10 mM. The enzyme did not phosphorylate either phosphofructokinase or glycogen phosphorylase, two enzymes that are also phosphorylated during anoxia in whelks. The purified enzyme is different from the catalytic subunit of cAMP-dependent protein kinase as shown by the inability of cAMP to stimulate the protein kinase at all stages of the prepation; cAMP did not activate either crude enzyme, the 7% poly(ethylene glycol)_supernatant, or any of the column eluant peak fractions when measured by changes in pyruvate kinase kinetic parameters.

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BBA - General Subjects
Department of Biology

Brooks, S.P.J., & Storey, K. (1991). The role of protein kinases in anoxia tolerance in facultative anaerobes: purification and characterization of a protein kinase that phosphorylates pyruvate kinase. BBA - General Subjects, 1073(2), 253–259. doi:10.1016/0304-4165(91)90129-5