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An engineered photoswitchable mammalian pyruvate kinase.

ABSTRACT

Changes in allosteric regulation of glycolytic enzymes have been linked to metabolic reprogramming involved in cancer. Remarkably, allosteric mechanisms control enzyme function at significantly shorter time-scales compared to the long-term effects of metabolic reprogramming on cell proliferation. It remains unclear if and how the speed and reversibility afforded by rapid allosteric control of metabolic enzymes is important for cell proliferation. Tools that allow specific, dynamic modulation of enzymatic activities in mammalian cells would help address this question. Towards this goal, we have used molecular dynamics simulations to guide the design of PiL[D24], an engineered pyruvate kinase M2 (PKM2) variant that harbours an insertion of the light-sensing LOV2 domain from Avena Sativa within a region implicated in allosteric regulation by fructose 1,6-bisphosphate (FBP). The LOV2 photoreaction is preserved in the PiL[D24] chimera and causes secondary structure changes that are associated with a 30% decrease in the Km of the enzyme for PEP resulting in increased pyruvate kinase activity after light exposure. Importantly, this change in activity is reversible upon light withdrawal. Expression of PiL[D24] in cells leads to light-induced increase in labelling of pyruvate from glucose. PiL[D24] therefore could provide a means to modulate cellular glucose metabolism in a remote manner and paves the way for studying the importance of rapid allosteric phenomena in the regulation of metabolism and enzyme control. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.