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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Detailed kinetics and regulation of mammalian 2-oxoglutarate dehydrogenase

Feng Qi12, Ranjan K Pradhan1, Ranjan K Dash1 and Daniel A Beard1*

Author Affiliations

1 Biotechnology and Bioengineering Center and Department of Physiology, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI-53226, USA

2 Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute at Lake Nona, 6400 Sanger Road, Orlando, FL, 32827, USA

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BMC Biochemistry 2011, 12:53  doi:10.1186/1471-2091-12-53

Published: 26 September 2011



Mitochondrial 2-oxoglutarate (α-ketoglutarate) dehydrogenase complex (OGDHC), a key regulatory point of tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle, plays vital roles in multiple pathways of energy metabolism and biosynthesis. The catalytic mechanism and allosteric regulation of this large enzyme complex are not fully understood. Here computer simulation is used to test possible catalytic mechanisms and mechanisms of allosteric regulation of the enzyme by nucleotides (ATP, ADP), pH, and metal ion cofactors (Ca2+ and Mg2+).


A model was developed based on an ordered ter-ter enzyme kinetic mechanism combined with con-formational changes that involve rotation of one lipoic acid between three catalytic sites inside the enzyme complex. The model was parameterized using a large number of kinetic data sets on the activity of OGDHC, and validated by comparison of model predictions to independent data.


The developed model suggests a hybrid rapid-equilibrium ping-pong random mechanism for the kinetics of OGDHC, consistent with previously reported mechanisms, and accurately describes the experimentally observed regulatory effects of cofactors on the OGDHC activity. This analysis provides a single consistent theoretical explanation for a number of apparently contradictory results on the roles of phosphorylation potential, NAD (H) oxidation-reduction state ratio, as well as the regulatory effects of metal ions on ODGHC function.