The side chains of Escherichia coli phosphofructokinase (EcPFK) that interact with bound substrate, fructose 6-phosphate (Fru-6-P), are examined for their potential roles in allosteric regulation. Mutations that severely decrease Fru-6-P affinity and/or k(cat)/K(m) were created at each contact residue, with the exception of the catalytic base, D127. Even though Fru-6-P affinity was greatly decreased for R162E, M169A, E222A/H223A, and R243E, the mutated proteins retained the ability to be activated by MgADP and inhibited by phosphoenolpyruvate (PEP). R252E did not show an allosteric response to either MgADP or PEP. The H249E mutation retained MgADP activation but did not respond to PEP. R72E, T125A, and R171E maintained allosteric inhibition by PEP. Both R72E and T125A displayed a MgADP-dependent decrease in k(cat) but no MgADP-dependent K-type effects. R171E maintained MgADP-dependent K-type activation but also displayed a MgADP-dependent decrease in k(cat). Localization of mutations that alter MgADP activation near the transferred phosphate group indicates the importance of the 1-methoxy region of Fru-6-P in allosteric regulation by MgADP. A region near the 6'-phosphate may be similarly important for PEP inhibition. R252 is uniquely positioned between the 1'- and 6'-phosphates of bound Fru-1,6-BP, and the mutation at this position may alter both allosterically responsive regions. The differential functions of specific regions in the Fru-6-P contact residues support different mechanisms for allosteric activation and inhibition. In addition, the lack of correlation between mutations that decrease Fru-6-P affinity and those that abolish allosteric communications supports the independence of affinity and allosteric coupling.