Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name



Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Degree Program

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, MS

Committee Chair

Clem, Brian

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Clark, Barbara

Committee Member

Clark, Barbara

Committee Member

Dholakia, Jaydev

Author's Keywords

pyruvate kinase; PKM2; PSAT1; phosphoserine aminotransferase 1; enzyme kinetics; protein:protein interaction


Pyruvate kinase M2 (PKM2) is predominantly found in tumors, where it allows the cancer cell to adapt to metabolic conditions through allosteric regulation of its activity. We recently discovered that phosphoserine aminotransferase 1 (PSAT1) associates with and activates PKM2. Here, I sought to affirm PSAT1's ability to increase PKM2 activity through kinetic and association studies of wild-type or mutant PKM2 enzymes. I demonstrate that His-tagged WT and mutant PKM2 enzymes are active, exhibit different kinetics, yet cannot be activated by PSAT1. Comparison studies using untagged WT PKM2 suggest that inclusion of the His-tag disrupts PSAT1 association. In support, pull-down strategies failed to demonstrate any PSAT1 interaction with the PKM2 proteins. Future studies should focus on producing the PKM2 variants, potentially in untagged form, to assess their interaction with and activation by PSAT1. These results would add to our understanding of these two crucial proteins that are believed to promote tumor progression.