Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PDH), the enzyme which catalyzes the rate determining step of the pentose phosphate pathway (PPP), controls the production of nucleotide precursor molecules (R5P) and powerful reducing molecules (NADPH) that support multiple biosynthetic functions, including antioxidant defense. G6PDH from hepatopancreas of the freshwater crayfish (Orconectes virilis) showed distinct kinetic changes in response to 20 h anoxic exposure. Km values for both substrates decreased significantly in anoxic crayfish; Km NADP+ dropped from 0.015 ± 0.008 mM to 0.012 ± 0.008 mM, and Km G6P decreased from 0.13 ± 0.02 mM to 0.08 ± 0.007 mM. Two lines of evidence indicate that the mechanism involved is reversible phosphorylation. In vitro incubations that stimulated protein kinase or protein phosphatase action mimicked the effects on anoxia on Km values, whereas DEAE-Sephadex chromatography showed the presence of two enzyme forms (low- and high-phosphate) whose proportions changed during anoxia. Incubation studies implicated protein kinase A and G in mediating the anoxia-responsive changes in G6PDH kinetic properties. In addition, the amount of G6PDH protein (measured by immunoblotting) increased by ∼ 60% in anoxic hepatopancreas. Anoxia-induced phosphorylation of G6PDH could contribute to modifying carbon flow through the PPP under anoxic conditions, potentially maintaining NADPH supply for antioxidant defense during prolonged anoxia-induced hypometabolism.

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Journal Enzyme Research
Lant, B. (Benjamin), & Storey, K. (2011). Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase regulation in anoxia tolerance of the freshwater crayfish Orconectes virilis. Enzyme Research, 2011(1). doi:10.4061/2011/524906