De novo l-serine biosynthesis in the mammalian astrocytes proceeds via a linear, three-step pathway (the phosphorylated pathway) catalysed by 3-phosphoglycerate dehydrogenase (PHGDH), phosphoserine aminotransferase (PSAT) and phosphoserine phosphatase (PSP). The first reaction, catalysed by PHGDH and using the glycolytic intermediate 3-phosphoglycerate, is strongly shifted towards the reagents, and coupling to the following step by PSAT is required to push the equilibrium towards l-serine formation; the last step, catalysed by PSP, is virtually irreversible and inhibited by the final product l-serine. Very little is known about the regulation of the human phosphorylated pathway and the ability of the three enzymes to organise in a complex with potential regulatory functions. Here, the complex formation was investigated in differentiated human astrocytes, by proximity ligation assay, and in vitro on the human recombinant enzymes. The results indicate that the three enzymes co-localise in cytoplasmic clusters that more stably engage PSAT and PSP. Although in vitro analyses based on native PAGE, size exclusion chromatography and cross-linking experiments do not show the formation of a stable complex, kinetic studies of the reconstituted pathway using physiological enzyme and substrate concentrations support cluster formation and indicate that PHGDH catalyses the rate-limiting step while PSP reaction is the driving force for the whole pathway. The enzyme agglomerate assembly of the phosphorylated pathway (the putative ‘serinosome’) delivers a relevant level of sophistication to the control of l-serine biosynthesis in human cells, a process strictly related to the modulation of the brain levels of d-serine and glycine, the main co-agonists of N-methyl-d-aspartate receptors and various pathological states.
The human phosphorylated pathway: a multienzyme metabolic assembly for l-serine biosynthesis / Rabattoni, V.; Marchesani, F.; Murtas, G.; Sacchi, S.; Mozzarelli, A.; Bruno, S.; Peracchi, A.; Pollegioni, L.; Campanini, B.. - In: THE FEBS JOURNAL. - ISSN 1742-464X. - (2023). [10.1111/febs.16787]