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Some metabolic enzymes normally occur in the nucleus and cytoplasm. These compartments differ in molecular composition. Since post-translational modification and interaction with allosteric effectors can tune enzyme activity, it follows that the behavior of an enzyme as a catalyst may differ between the cytoplasm and nucleus. We explored this possibility for the glycolytic enzyme glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH). Homogenates of pristine nuclei and cytoplasms isolated from Xenopus laevis oocytes were used for whole compartment activity profiling in a near-physiological buffer. Titrations of NAD+ revealed similar whole compartment activity profiles for GAPDH in nuclear and cytoplasmic homogenates. Surprisingly however GAPDH in these compartments did not have the same behavior in assays of the dependence of initial velocity (v0) on G3P concentration. First, the peak v0 for nuclear GAPDH was up to 2.5-fold higher than the peak for cytoplasmic GAPDH. Second, while Michaelis Menten-like behavior was observed in all assays of cytoplasm, the v0 versus [G3P] plots for nuclear GAPDH typically exhibited a non-Michaelis Menten (sigmoidal) profile. Apparent Km and Vmax (G3P) values for nuclear GAPDH activity were highly variable, even between replicates of the same sample. Possible sources of this variability include in vitro processing of a metabolite that allosterically regulates GAPDH, turnover of a post-translational modification of the enzyme, and fluctuation of the state of interaction of GAPDH with other proteins. Collectively these findings are consistent with the hypothesis that the environment of the nucleus is distinct from the environment of the cytoplasm with regard to GAPDH activity and its modulation. This finding warrants further comparison of the regulation of nuclear and cytoplasmic GAPDH, as well as whole compartment activity profiling of other enzymes of metabolism with cytosolic and nuclear pools. Copyright: © 2023 Tang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Helen S Tang, Chelsea R Gates, Michael C Schultz. Biochemical evidence that the whole compartment activity behavior of GAPDH differs between the cytoplasm and nucleus. PloS one. 2023;18(8):e0290892

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PMID: 37651389

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