Human red cells manifest glycolate kinase activity. This activity copurifies with pyruvate kinase and is decreased in the red cells of subjects with hereditary pyruvate kinase deficiency. Glycolate kinase activity was detected in the presence of FDP or glucose-1,6-P2. In the presence of 1 mmol/L FDP, the Km for adenosine triphosphate (ATP) was 0.28 mmol/L and a half maximum velocity for glycolate was obtained at 40 mmol/L. The pH optimum of the reaction was over 10.5 With 10 mumol/L FDP, 500 mumol/L glucose-1,6-P2, 2 mmol/L ATP, 5 mmol/L MgCl2, and 50 mmol/L glycolate at pH 7.5, glycolate kinase activity was calculated to be approximately 0.0013 U/mL RBC. In view of this low activity even in the presence of massive amounts of glycolate, the glycolate kinase reaction cannot account for the maintenance of the reported phosphoglycolate level in human red cells.

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