Metabolite activation of crassulacean acid metabolism and C4 phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase

Vahe Bandarian, William J. Poehner, Scott D. Grover

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


The effects of glycine, alanine, serine, and various phosphorylated metabolites on the activity of phosphoenolpyruvate (PEP) carboxylase from Zed mays and Crassula argentea were studied. The maize enzyme was found to be activated by amino acids at a site that is separate from the glucose 6-phosphate binding site. The combination of glycine and glucose 6-phosphate synergistically reduced the apparent Km of the enzyme for PEP and increased the apparent Vmax. Of the amino acids tested, glycine showed the lowest apparent Ka and caused the greatest activation. D-Isomers of alanine and serine were more effective activators than the L-isomers. Unlike the maize enzyme, the Crassula enzyme was not activated by amino acids. Activation of either the Crassula or maize enzyme by glucose 6-phosphate occurred without dephosphorylation of the activator molecule. Furthermore, the Crassula enzyme was activated by two compounds containing phosphonate groups whose carbon-phosphorus bonds were not cleaved by the enzyme. A study of analogs of glucose 6-phosphate with Crassula PEP carboxylase revealed that the identity of the ring heteroatom was a significant structural feature affecting activation. Activation was not highly sensitive to the orientation of the hydroxyl group at the second or fourth carbon positions or to the presence of a hydroxyl group at the second position. However, the position of the phosphate group was found to be a significant factor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1411-1416
Number of pages6
JournalPlant physiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science


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