Distribution of phosphorylated metabolites and magnesium in the red cells of a patient with hyperactive pyruvate kinase

R. Ouwerkerk, C. J A Van Echteld, G. E J Staal, G. Rijksen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The intracellular distribution of adenosine 5'-triphosphate (ATP) and 2,3-diphosphoglycerate (2,3-DPG) was studied in the red cells of a patient with a 'high-ATP syndrome' by using 31P nuclear magnetic resonance. In this patient, red cell ATP was increased 2.5-fold, whereas 2,3-DPG was decreased fourfold due to the presence of a hyperactive pyruvate kinase. In oxygenated red cells, these abnormal concentrations were reflected to the same extent in all complexes in which ATP and 2,3-DPG take part. The diminished amount of 2,3-DPG bound to hemoglobin was almost completely replaced by ATP-hemoglobin complexes. Therefore, free hemoglobin was only slightly increased. In deoxygenated cells, the relative distribution of ATP and 2,3-DPG complexes was significantly disturbed. The main difference was a shift in the ratio of magnesium ATP (MgATP) over the ATP-hemoglobin complex; 74% of total ATP was complexed to hemoglobin (45% in normal cells), whereas the concentration of MgATP was only slightly increased with respect to normal. The shortage in 2,3-DPG bound to hemoglobin could partially be replenished by an increase in hemoglobin (Mg) ATP complexes. Therefore, the amount of uncomplexed hemoglobin raised from 15% in normal cells to 38% in the patient's cells. As a result, the oxygen-dissociation curve was only moderately shifted to the left. It is concluded that the regulatory role of 2,3-DPG in oxygen transport is taken over in part by (Mg) ATP in this patient. In both aerobic and anaerobic cells, the increase in magnesium bound to ATP, either free or bound to hemoglobin, exceeds the decrease in 2,3-DPG Mg complex. In spite of this, the amount of intracellular free Mg++ was normal or slightly lowered. This suggests the presence of compensatory mechanism by which the amount of total cellular magnesium could be increased.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1224-1229
Number of pages6
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1988
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology


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