American Chemical Society
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Metabolic Tug-of-War between Glycolysis and Translation Revealed by Biochemical Reconstitution

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journal contribution
posted on 2024-05-08, 17:33 authored by Gaku Sato, Saki Kinoshita, Takahiro G. Yamada, Satoshi Arai, Tetsuya Kitaguchi, Akira Funahashi, Nobuhide Doi, Kei Fujiwara
Inside cells, various biological systems work cooperatively for homeostasis and self-replication. These systems do not work independently as they compete for shared elements like ATP and NADH. However, it has been believed that such competition is not a problem in codependent biological systems such as the energy-supplying glycolysis and the energy-consuming translation system. In this study, we biochemically reconstituted the coupling system of glycolysis and translation using purified elements and found that the competition for ATP between glycolysis and protein synthesis interferes with their coupling. Both experiments and simulations revealed that this interference is derived from a metabolic tug-of-war between glycolysis and translation based on their reaction rates, which changes the threshold of the initial substrate concentration for the success coupling. By the metabolic tug-of-war, translation energized by strong glycolysis is facilitated by an exogenous ATPase, which normally inhibits translation. These findings provide chemical insights into the mechanism of competition among biological systems in living cells and provide a framework for the construction of synthetic metabolism in vitro.