IIA(Glc) allosteric control of Escherichia coli glycerol kinase: binding site cooperative transitions and cation-promoted association by Zinc(II)

Biochemistry. 2001 Nov 27;40(47):14302-8. doi: 10.1021/bi011590w.


The catalytic activity of glycerol kinase (EC, ATP:glycerol 3-phosphotransferase) from Escherichia coli is inhibited allosterically by IIA(Glc) (previously known as III(Glc)), the glucose-specific phosphocarrier protein of the phosphoenolpyruvate:glycose phosphotransferase system. A sequentially contiguous portion of glycerol kinase undergoes an induced fit conformational change involving coil, alpha-helix, and 3(10)-helix upon IIA(Glc) binding. A second induced fit occurs upon binding of Zn(II) to a novel intermolecular site, which increases complex stability by cation-promoted association. Eight of the ten sequentially contiguous amino acids are substituted with alanine to evaluate the roles of these positions in complex formation. Effects of the substitutions reveal both favorable and antagonistic contributions of the normal amino acids to complex formation, and Zn(II) reverses these contributions for two of the amino acids. The consequences of some of the substitutions for IIA(Glc) inhibition are consistent with changes in the intermolecular interactions seen in the crystal structures. However, for the amino acids that are located in the region that is alpha-helical in the absence of IIA(Glc), the effects of the substitutions are not consistent with changes in intermolecular interactions but with increased stability of the alpha-helical region due to the higher alpha-helix propensity of alanine. The reduced affinity for IIA(Glc) binding seen for these variants is consistent with predictions of Freire and co-workers [Luque, I., and Freire, E. (2000) Proteins: Struct., Funct., Genet. 4, 63-71]. These variants show also increased cation-promoted association by Zn(II) so that the energetic contribution of Zn(II) to complex formation is doubled. The similarity of effects of the alanine substitutions of the amino acids in the alpha-helical region for IIA(Glc) binding affinity and cation-promoted association by Zn(II) indicates that they function as a cooperative unit.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Allosteric Regulation
  • Binding Sites
  • Cations / metabolism
  • Enzyme Stability
  • Escherichia coli / enzymology*
  • Escherichia coli Proteins
  • Glycerol Kinase / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Glycerol Kinase / genetics
  • Glycerol Kinase / metabolism*
  • Mutation
  • Phosphoenolpyruvate Sugar Phosphotransferase System / metabolism*
  • Protein Structure, Secondary
  • Zinc / metabolism*


  • Cations
  • Escherichia coli Proteins
  • crr protein, E coli
  • Phosphoenolpyruvate Sugar Phosphotransferase System
  • Glycerol Kinase
  • Zinc