Many studies of allosteric mechanisms use limited numbers of mutations to test whether residues play "key" roles. However, if a large percentage of the protein contributes to allosteric function, mutating any residue would have a high probability of modifying allostery. Thus, a predicted mechanism that is dependent on only a few residues could erroneously appear to be supported. We used whole-protein alanine-scanning mutagenesis to determine which amino acid sidechains of human liver pyruvate kinase (hL-PYK; approved symbol PKLR) contribute to regulation by fructose-1,6-bisphosphate (Fru-1,6-BP; activator) and alanine (inhibitor). Each nonalanine/nonglycine residue of hL-PYK was mutated to alanine to generate 431 mutant proteins. Allosteric functions in active proteins were quantified by following substrate affinity over a concentration range of effectors. Results show that different residues contribute to the two allosteric functions. Only a small fraction of mutated residues perturbed inhibition by alanine. In contrast, a large percentage of mutated residues influenced activation by Fru-1,6-BP; inhibition by alanine is not simply the reverse of activation by Fru-1,6-BP. Moreover, the results show that Fru-1,6-BP activation would be extremely difficult to elucidate using a limited number of mutations. Additionally, this large mutational data set will be useful to train and test computational algorithms aiming to predict allosteric mechanisms.
Keywords: PKLR; alanine-scanning mutagenesis; allosteric mechanism; allosteric regulation; allostery; liver pyruvate kinase.
© 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.