Purified phosphofructokinase from the earthworm Lumbricus terrestris was phosphorylated in vitro by the catalytic subunit of cAMP-dependent protein kinase from the same organism to an extent of approx. 0.5 mol/mol of subunit. Activation of the enzyme occurred in parallel to the incorporation of covalently bound phosphate and was reversed by the action of the catalytic subunit of protein phosphatase 2A. Phosphorylation decreased the co-operativity of fructose 6-phosphate saturation in the presence of inhibitory concentrations of ATP, and increased the apparent Vmax obtained with saturating concentrations of the activators 5´-AMP and fructose 2,6-bisphosphate. The phosphorylated sites of phosphofructokinase from L. terrestris and from two molluscs (Helix pomatia and Mytilus edulis) were sequenced and shown to exhibit distinct similarity to sequences located near to the N-terminus of nematode phosphofructokinases [Klein, Olson, Favreau, Wintertowed, Hatzenbuhler, Shea, Nulf and Geary (1991) Mol. Biochem. Parasitol. 48, 17–26].

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