Crystal structures of human pantothenate kinases. Insights into allosteric regulation and mutations linked to a neurodegeneration disorder

J Biol Chem. 2007 Sep 21;282(38):27984-93. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M701915200. Epub 2007 Jul 13.


Pantothenate kinase (PanK) catalyzes the first step in CoA biosynthesis and there are three human genes that express four isoforms with highly conserved catalytic core domains. Here we report the homodimeric structures of the catalytic cores of PanK1alpha and PanK3 in complex with acetyl-CoA, a feedback inhibitor. Each monomer adopts a fold of the actin kinase superfamily and the inhibitor-bound structures explain the basis for the allosteric regulation by CoA thioesters. These structures also provide an opportunity to investigate the structural effects of the PanK2 mutations that have been implicated in neurodegeneration. Biochemical and thermodynamic analyses of the PanK3 mutant proteins corresponding to PanK2 mutations show that mutant proteins with compromised activities and/or stabilities correlate with a higher incidence of the early onset of disease.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Allosteric Site
  • Binding Sites
  • Catalytic Domain
  • Crystallography, X-Ray
  • Humans
  • Inhibitory Concentration 50
  • Molecular Conformation
  • Mutagenesis, Site-Directed
  • Mutation*
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / genetics*
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / metabolism
  • Phosphotransferases (Alcohol Group Acceptor) / chemistry*
  • Phosphotransferases (Alcohol Group Acceptor) / metabolism
  • Protein Binding
  • Thermodynamics


  • Phosphotransferases (Alcohol Group Acceptor)
  • pantothenate kinase

Associated data

  • PDB/2I7N
  • PDB/2I7P