A p21-activated kinase-controlled metabolic switch up-regulates phagocyte NADPH oxidase.

Document Type


Publication Date



NADPH-Oxidase, Phagocytes, Phosphoglycerate-Mutase, Protein-Serine-Threonine-Kinases, Substrate-Specificity

JAX Source

J Biol Chem 2002 Oct; 277(43):40659-65.


Chemoattractant-stimulated phagocytes increase their glucose uptake and divert energy production from glycolysis to the pentose phosphate pathway to generate NADPH. NADPH is a required cofactor for the NADPH oxidase to produce reactive oxygen metabolites, an important microbicidal tool in host defense. p21-Activated kinases (Paks) are regulated by the GTPases Rac and Cdc42 and control actin dynamics and phosphorylation of the oxidase component p47(phox). Here we report the interaction of Pak with phosphoglycerate mutase (PGAM)-B, an enzyme of the glycolytic pathway. Activated Pak1 inhibits glycolysis by association of its catalytic domain with PGAM-B and subsequent phosphorylation of the enzyme on serine residues 23 and 118, thereby abolishing PGAM activity. Leukocyte activation through chemoattractant receptors leads to Pak activation and transient inhibition of endogenous PGAM-B activity. Consistent with these observations, treatment of neutrophils with phosphoglycolic acid, a competitive PGAM-B inhibitor, increases upstream intermediates, thereby amplifying the respiratory burst. These results demonstrate that Rho GTPases regulate the glycolytic pathway through Pak and suggest a link between chemoattractant signaling and metabolic responses to enhance host defense.