Phosphoglycerate kinase 1 (PGK1) is encoded by the X-chromosomal PGK1 gene and is ubiquitously expressed. The resulting polypeptide is a central enzyme of aerobic glycolysis and essential for the formation of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is referred to as the molecular unit of intracellular energy currency. Countless metabolic processes and enzymatic reactions are linked to the hydrolysis of ATP. PGK1 catalyzes the reversible formation of 3-phosphoglycerate and ATP by transferring a phosphate group from 1,3-bisphosphoglycerate to adenosine diphosphate (ADP). On top of maintaining cell metabolism, PGK1 has additional functions, depending also on its localization within the cell.
PGK1 is a commonly used housekeeping gene utilized in gene expression analyses, for example in real-time reverse transcription PCR assays. Housekeeping genes are used to normalize expression values of analyzed genes in gene expression assays. However, it has become clear that the expression levels of housekeeping genes can show considerable variation, depending on the experimental conditions and analyzed tissue. PGK1 has been shown to be a stably expressed housekeeping gene for performing expression studies of leukocytes.
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