Abstract

Phosphagen kinases (PK's) are a widespread family of enzymes that catalyze the reversible transfer of phosphate from ATP to guanidino compounds, such as creatine and arginine. This reversible reaction allows for efficient buffering of the cellular ATP:ADP ratio in diverse eukaryotic lifeforms. For this reason, PK’s are crucial for stress resistance, resting energy metabolism, and basic growth and development pathways. The most widely studied PK, creatine kinase (CK), is known to be regulated through phosphorylation by adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) in mammals. However, no other PK’s have been studied as potential substrates of AMPK, limiting our evolutionary understanding of the mode of regulation, and limiting our functional understanding of other PK’s. In this preliminary study, we used an in vitro thiophosphorylation assay, and identified an arginine kinase isoform from C. elegans, F44, as a probable AMPK phosphorylation target. We related these findings to a recent study that examined a different aspect of the functional relationship between the two proteins, and then explored models of C. elegans AMPK signaling consistent with these two studies. This preliminary study lays the groundwork for further exploration of PK regulation by AMPK phosphorylation, and raises substantial questions regarding evolutionary divergence in core eukaryotic energetic pathways.

Advisor

Fraga, Dean

Department

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Disciplines

Biochemical Phenomena, Metabolism, and Nutrition

Publication Date

2016

Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis

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© Copyright 2016 Andrew H. Greene