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Pentose Phosphate Pathway Copyright © 1999-2007 by Joyce J. Diwan. All rights reserved. Molecular Biochemistry II

Pentose Phosphate Pathway:

Pentose Phosphate Pathway Pentose Phosphate Pathway Other names: Phosphogluconate Pathway Hexose Monophosphate Shunt The linear part of the pathway carries out oxidation and decarboxylation of the 6-C sugar glucose-6-P, producing the 5-C sugar ribulose-5-P.

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Glucose-6-phosphate Dehydrogenase catalyzes oxidation of the aldehyde (hemiacetal), at C 1 of glucose-6-phosphate, to a carboxylic acid , in ester linkage (lactone). NADP + serves as electron acceptor.

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6-Phosphogluconolactonase catalyzes hydrolysis of the ester linkage, resulting in ring opening . The product is 6-phosphogluconate . Although ring opening occurs in the absence of a catalyst, 6-Phosphogluconolactonase speeds up the reaction, decreasing the lifetime of the highly reactive, and thus potentially toxic, 6-phosphogluconolactone.

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Phosphogluconate Dehydrogenase catalyzes oxidative decarboxylation of 6-phosphogluconate, to yield the 5-C ketose ribulose-5-phosphate . The OH at C 3 (C 2 of product) is oxidized to a ketone . This promotes loss of the carboxyl at C 1 as CO 2 . NADP + serves as oxidant.

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NADPH , a product of the Pentose Phosphate Pathway, functions as a reductant in anabolic (synthetic) pathways, e.g., fatty acid synthesis. NAD + serves as electron acceptor in catabolic pathways, in which metabolites are oxidized. The resultant NADH is reoxidized by the respiratory chain, producing ATP. Reduction of NADP + (as with NAD + ) involves transfer of 2 e - and 1 H + to the nicotinamide moiety.

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NAD + & NADP + differ only in the presence of an extra phosphate on the adenosine ribose of NADP + . This difference has little to do with redox activity, but is recognized by substrate-binding sites of enzymes. It is a mechanism for separation of catabolic and synthetic pathways.

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Regulation of Glucose-6-phosphate Dehydrogenase: Glucose-6-phosphate Dehydrogenase is the committed step of the Pentose Phosphate Pathway. This enzyme is regulated by availability of the substrate NADP + . As NADPH is utilized in reductive synthetic pathways, the increasing concentration of NADP + stimulates the Pentose Phosphate Pathway, to replenish NADPH. The rest of the pathway converts ribulose-5-P to the 5-C product ribose-5-P, or to 3-C glyceraldehyde-3-P & 6-C fructose-6-P. Additional enzymes include an Isomerase, Epimerase, Transketolase, and Transaldolase.

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Epimerase inter-converts stereoisomers ribulose-5-P and xylulose-5-P. Isomerase converts the ketose ribulose-5-P to the aldose ribose-5-P. Both reactions involve deprotonation to an endiolate intermediate followed by specific reprotonation to yield the product. Both reactions are reversible.

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Transketolase & Transaldolase catalyze transfer of 2-C or 3-C molecular fragments respectively, in each case from a ketose donor to an aldose acceptor. D. E. Nicholson has suggested that the names of these enzymes should be changed, since Transketolase actually transfers an aldol moiety (glycoaldehyde), and Transaldolase actually transfers a ketol moiety (dihydroxyacetone). However the traditional enzyme names are used here.

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Transketolase transfers a 2-C fragment from xylulose-5-P to either ribose-5-P or erythrose-4-P. Transketolase utilizes as prosthetic group thiamine pyrophosphate (TPP) , a derivative of vitamin B 1 . Pyruvate Dehydrogenase of Krebs Cycle also utilizes TPP as prosthetic group.

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TPP binds at the active site in a “ V ” conformation. H + dissociates from the C between N & S in the thiazolium ring. The aminopyrimidine amino group is near the dissociable H + , & serves as H + acceptor . This H + transfer is promoted by a Glu residue adjacent to the pyrimidine ring.

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The thiazolium carbanion reacts with the carbonyl C of xylulose-5-P to form an addition compound. N + in the thiazole ring acts as an e - sink , promoting C-C bond cleavage.

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The 3-C aldose glyceraldehyde-3-P is released. A 2-C fragment remains on TPP. Completion is by reversal of these steps. The 2-C fragment condenses with one of the aldoses erythrose-4-P (4-C) or ribose-5-P (5-C) to form a ketose-P product.

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Transfer of the 2-C fragment to the 5-C aldose ribose-5-phosphate yields sedoheptulose-7-phosphate. Transfer of the 2-C fragment instead to the 4-C aldose erythrose-4-phosphate yields fructose-6-phosphate.

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Transaldolase catalyzes transfer of a 3-C dihydroxyacetone moiety, from sedoheptulose-7-phosphate to glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate. Transaldolase has an a , b barrel structure.

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In Transaldolase , the e -amino group of a lysine residue reacts with the carbonyl C of sedoheptulose-7-P to form a protonated Schiff base intermediate.

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Completion of the reaction is by reversal , as the carbanion attacks instead the aldehyde carbon of the 3-C aldose glyceraldehyde-3-P to yield the 6-C fructose-6-P. Aldol cleavage releases erythrose-4-phosphate. The Schiff base stabilizes the carbanion on C3.

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The diagram at right summarizes flow of 15 C atoms through Pentose Phosphate Pathway reactions by which 5-C sugars are converted to 3-C and 6-C sugars. IS = Isomerase EP = Epimerase TK = Transketolase TA = Transaldolase

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The balance sheet below summarizes flow of 15 C atoms through Pentose Phosphate Pathway reactions by which 5-C sugars are converted to 3-C and 6-C sugars. C 5 + C 5  C 3 + C 7 (Transketolase) C 3 + C 7  C 6 + C 4 (Transaldolase) C 5 + C 4  C 6 + C 3 (Transketolase) ____________________________ 3 C 5  2 C 6 + C 3 (Overall) Glucose-6-phosphate may be regenerated from either the 3-C glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate or the 6-C fructose-6-phosphate, via enzymes of Gluconeogenesis.

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Ribulose-5-P may be converted to ribose-5-phosphate , a substrate for synthesis of nucleotides and nucleic acids. The pathway also produces some NADPH . Depending on needs of a cell for ribose-5-phosphate , NADPH , and ATP , the Pentose Phosphate Pathway can operate in various modes, to maximize different products. There are three major scenarios:

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Glyceraldehyde-3-P and fructose-6-P may be converted to glucose-6-P for reentry to the linear portion of the Pentose Phosphate Pathway, maximizing formation of NADPH .

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Glyceraldehyde-3-P and fructose-6-P, formed from 5-C sugar phosphates, may enter Glycolysis for ATP synthesis. The pathway also produces some NADPH .

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Ribose-1-phosphate generated during catabolism of nucleosides also enters Glycolysis in this way, after first being converted to ribose-5-phosphate. Thus the Pentose Phosphate Pathway serves as an entry into Glycolysis for both 5-carbon & 6-carbon sugars.

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Glutathione is a tripeptide that includes a Glu linked by an isopeptide bond involving the side-chain carbonyl group. Its functional group is a cysteine thiol . One role of glutathione is degradation of hydroperoxides , that arise spontaneously in the oxygen-rich environment in red blood cells. Hydroperoxides can react with double bonds in fatty acids of membrane lipids, making membranes leaky.

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Glutathione Peroxidase catalyzes degradation of organic hydroperoxides by reduction, as two glutathione molecules (represented as GSH) are oxidized to a disulfide. 2 GSH + ROOH  GSSG + ROH + H 2 O Glutathione Peroxidase uses the trace element selenium as functional group. The enzyme's primary structure includes an analog of cysteine, selenocysteine, with Se replacing S.

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Regeneration of reduced glutathione requires NADPH, produced within erythrocytes in the Pentose Phosphate Pathway. Glutathione Reductase catalyzes: GSSG + NADPH + H +  2 GSH + NADP + Genetic deficiency of Glucose-6-P Dehydrogenase can lead to hemolytic anemia, due to inadequate [NADPH] within red blood cells. The effect of partial deficiency of Glucose-6-phosphate Dehydrogenase is exacerbated by substances that lead to increased production of peroxides (e.g., the antimalarial primaquine ).

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