The intertidal marine snail, Littorina littorea, has evolved to withstand extended bouts of oxygen deprivation brought about by changing tides or other potentially harmful environmental conditions. Survival is dependent on a strong suppression of its metabolic rate and a drastic reorganization of its cellular biochemistry in order to maintain energy balance under fixed fuel reserves. Lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) is a crucial enzyme of anaerobic metabolism as it is typically responsible for the regeneration of NAD+, which allows for the continued functioning of glycolysis in the absence of oxygen. This study compared the kinetic and structural characteristics of the D-lactate specific LDH (E.C. from foot muscle of aerobic control versus 24 h anoxia-exposed L. littorea. Anoxic LDH displayed a near 50% decrease in (pyruvate-reducing direction) as compared to control LDH. These kinetic differences suggest that there may be a stable modification and regulation of LDH during anoxia, and indeed, subsequent dot-blot analyses identified anoxic LDH as being significantly less acetylated than the corresponding control enzyme. Therefore, acetylation may be the regulatory mechanism that is responsible for the suppression of LDH activity during anoxia, which could allow for the production of alternative glycolytic end products that in turn would increase the ATP yield under fixed fuel reserves.

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Journal Enzyme Research
Shahriari, A. (Ali), Dawson, N.J. (Neal J.), Bell, R.A.V. (Ryan A. V.), & Storey, K. (2013). Stable suppression of lactate dehydrogenase activity during anoxia in the foot muscle of Littorina littorea and the potential role of acetylation as a novel posttranslational regulatory mechanism. Enzyme Research, 2013. doi:10.1155/2013/461374