Three different forms of hexokinase are identified during Tuber Borchii mycelium growth

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Truffles are ectomycorrhizal fungi which have a great dependence on carbohydrates supplied by their host plants. The catabolism of hexoses in the mycobiont is important for the production of energy, and the first enzyme in the hexose assimilation pathways is hexokinase. This study reports differences in the expression of this enzyme during the growth of Tuber borchii Vittad. mycelium (strain ATCC 96540). Three hexokinase activities (HKM1, HKM2 and HKM3) were isolated by anion-exchange chromatography and partially purified. HKM1 and HKM2 were present in the linear phase at 15-50 days of growth. Two remarkable differences were found in the sugar-phosphorylating activity and stability of HKM1 and HKM2. HKM2 did not phosphorylate the fructose and it was present in the chromatographic profile only when substrates such as glucose, glucosamine or mannose were added to the extraction buffer. On the contrary, HKM1 utilized also fructose and was detected under all the experimental conditions used. HKM3 was the only molecular form observed after 70 days, when the fungus growth had reached a plateau. To our knowledge these results represent the first evidence for the presence in T. borchii mycelium of three distinct enzymatic forms of hexokinase which are differently expressed during growth of the fungus.

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