Using Molecular Visualization Software, Pymol, to understand metabolic enzymes: Phosphofructokinase
Glycolysis, is a ten-step process in which our cells take glucose and convert it into pyruvate, with each step having its own specific enzyme responsible for the reaction. Here, we will discuss phosphofructokinase (PFK) which is the enzyme responsible for the third step in glycolysis. This reaction involves using ATP to add a phosphate to Fructose-6-phosphate (F6P) to make Fructose-1,6-bisphosphate (F16BP). Once F6P is converted into F16BP there is no other use for F16BP except for glycolysis. It is a key reaction as PFK is a control point. PFK has an allosteric site for ATP. When ATP concentration is high in the system, it will inhibit PFK from phosphorylating F6P. This prohibits cells from wasting glucose if there is plenty of energy in the system. In this presentation I will be showing the overall structure of PFK, how PFK’s active site interacts with F6P and ATP, as well as highlighting the amino acids that are used in the phosphorylation reaction.