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Abstract

Fructose-2,6-bisphosphate is an important intracellular biofactor in the control of carbohydrate metabolic fluxes in eukaryotes. It is generated from ATP and fructose-6-phosphate by 6-phosphofructo-2-kinase and degraded to fructose-6-phosphate and phosphate ion by fructose-2,6-bisphosphatase. In most organisms these enzymatic activities are contained in a single polypeptide. The reciprocal modulation of the kinase and bisphosphatase activities by post-translational modifications places the level of the biofactor under the control of extra-cellular signals. In general, these signals are generated in response to changing nutritional states, therefore, fructose-2,6-bisphosphate plays a role in the adaptation of organisms, and the tissues within them, to changes in environmental and metabolic states. Although the specific mechanism of fructose-2,6-bisphosphate action varies between species and between tissues, most involve the allosteric activation of 6-phosphofructo-1-kinase and inhibition of fructose-1,6-bisphosphatase. These highly conserved enzymes regulate the fructose-6-phosphate/fructose-1,6-bisphosphate cycle, and thereby, determine the carbon flux. It is by reciprocal modulation of these activities that fructose-2,6-bisphosphate plays a fundamental role in eukaryotic carbohydrate metabolism.