Wood frogs, Rana sylvatica, were sampled after freezing at −4°C (a short time course from 2 to 70 min after the appearance of the freezing exotherm) and thawing (20 h at 3°C after 70 min of freezing) and the regulation of liver glycolysis with respect to cryoprotectant glucose synthesis was examined. Within 5 min of the initiation of freezing, cryoprotectant concentrations in blood and liver had begun to increase. This was correlated with a rapid rise in the levels of hexose monophosphates in liver, including a 2.5 fold increase in glucose-6-P and 10 fold rise in fructose-6-P contents within the first 5 min post-exotherm. Contents of fructose-1,6-P2, fructose-2,6-P2, triose phosphates, P-enolpyruvate, and pyruvate did not significantly change over the course of freezing. Thawing sharply reduced the levels of hexose monophosphates in liver but raised P-enolpyruvate content by 2.3 fold. Changes in the contents of glycolytic intermediates over the freeze/thaw course are consistent with an inhibitory block of glycolysis at phosphofructokinase during freezing in order to facilitate a rapid glycogenolysis and production of cryoprotectant; during thawing, however, glycolysis appears to be inhibited at the level of pyruvate kinase. Possible regulatory control of cryoprotectant synthesis by covalent modification of liver glycolytic enzymes was examined. Glycogenolysis during freezing was facilitated by an increase in the percentage of glycogen phosphorylase in the active a (phosphorylated) form and also by an increase in the total amount (a+b) of enzyme expressed. For phosphofructokinase, kinetic changes as a result of freezing included a 40% reduction in Km for fructose-6-P, a 60% decrease in Ka for fructose-2,6-P2, and a 2 fold increase in I50 for ATP. These changes imply a freezing-induced covalent modification of the enzyme but are not, apparently, the factors responsible for inhibition of glycolytic flux at the phosphofructokinase locus during glucose synthesis. Kinetic parameters of pyruvate kinase were not altered over the freeze/thaw course.

Journal of Comparative Physiology B
Department of Biology

Storey, K. (1987). Glycolysis and the regulation of cryoprotectant synthesis in liver of the freeze tolerant wood frog. Journal of Comparative Physiology B, 157(3), 373–380. doi:10.1007/BF00693364