Stephen P.J. Brooks and Kenneth B. Storey
Facultative metabolic rate depression is the common adaptive strategy underlying various animal mechanisms for surviving harsh environmental conditions. This strategy is common among molluscs, enabling animals to survive over days or even months in the absence of oxygen or under extremely dry conditions. The large reductions in metabolic rate during estivation and anoxia can translate into considerable energy savings when dormant animals are compared to active animals. A complex metabolic coordination is required during the transition into the dormant state to maintain cellular homeostasis and involves both energy-consuming and energy-producing pathways. With regard to energy-producing pathways, several different mechanisms have been identified that participate in controlling flux. One such mechanism, enzyme phosphorylation can have a wide-ranging effect. For example, phosphorylated enzymes exhibit altered substrate, activator, and inhibitor affinities. This effect may be magnified by changes in the concentrations of allosteric effectors, such as fructose 2,6-bisphosphate, that occur during hypometabolic states. Changes in fructose 2,6-bisphosphate are related to changes in enzyme phosphorylation through changes in the relative activity of phosphofructokinase-2. Alterations in glycolytic enzyme binding can also be brought about through changes in enzyme phosphorylation. The present review focuses on identifying hypometabolism-related changes in enzyme phosphorylation as well as characterizing the mechanisms involved in mediating these phosphorylation events.