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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Alterations in phosphofructokinase isoenzymes during early human development. Establishment of adult organ-specific patterns.

Human 6-phosphofructokinase (EC exists in tetrameric isoenzymic forms composed of muscle (M), liver (L) and platelet (P) subunits, which are under separate genetic control. In the adult, the proportion of these subunits in different organs reflects the relative activity of glycolysis versus gluconeogenesis. To elucidate the developmental basis for the observed distribution, we investigated the isoenzymic transitions of phosphofructokinase in human foetuses (12-40 weeks' gestation) by using high-resolution chromatography and monoclonal antibodies. We studied skeletal muscle, heart, liver and brain because these organs show very different glycolytic fluxes and isoenzymic patterns in adult individuals. Our results demonstrate that there is no unique 'foetal' form of phosphofructokinase in humans, but all three loci are variably expressed in all foetal organs during early gestation. As development proceeds, muscle and liver isoenzyme patterns show dramatic changes, with disappearance of P and L subunits in muscle and transient reappearance of M and P subunits in liver; in contrast, phosphofructokinase isoenzymes change little in brain and heart. Most changes occur at mid-gestation and near term, and adult isoenzyme patterns are expressed at birth, indicating that organ differentiation is complete. These studies show that phosphofructokinase undergoes changes of isoenzyme patterns similar to, but not identical with, those of other multilocus isoenzyme systems of glycolysis. The observed changes probably reflect changing patterns of gene expression, with repression of some loci and activation of others.[1]


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