A PPi-dependent phosphofructotransferase (PPi-fructose 6-phosphate 1-phosphotransferase, EC 126.96.36.199) which catalyzes the conversion of fructose 6 phosphate (F-6-P) to fructose 1,6-bisphosphate (F-1, 6-P2) was isolated from a cytoplasmic fraction of Acholeplasma laidlawii B-PG9 and partially purified (430-fold). PPi was required as the phosphate donor. ATP, dATP, CTP, dCTP, GTP, dGTP, UTP, dUTP, ITP, TTP, ADP, or Pi could not substitute for PPi. The PPi-dependent reaction (2.0 mM PPi) was not altered in the presence of any of these nucleotides (2.0 mM) or in the presence of smaller (less than or equal to 300 microM) amounts of fructose 2,6-bisphosphate, (NH4)2SO4, AMP, citrate, GDP, or phosphoenolpyruvate. Mg2+ and a pH of 7.4 were required for maximum activity. The partially purified enzyme in sucrose density gradient experiments had an approximate molecular weight of 74,000 and a sedimentation coefficient of 6.7. A second form of the enzyme (molecular weight, 37,000) was detected, although in relatively smaller amounts, by using Blue Sepharose matrix when performing electrophoresis experiments. The back reaction, F-1, 6-P2 to F-6-P, required Pi; arsenate could substitute for Pi, but not PPi or any other nucleotide tested. The computer-derived kinetic constants (+/- standard deviation) for the reaction in the PPi-driven direction of F-1, 6-P2 were as follows: v, 38.9 +/- 0.48 mM min-1; Ka(PPi), 0.11 +/- 0.04 mM; Kb(F-6-P), 0.65 +/- 0.15 mM; and Kia(PPi), 0.39 +/- 0.11 mM. A. laidlawii B-PG9 required PPi not only for the PPi-phosphofructotransferase reaction which we describe but also for purine nucleoside kinase activity. a dependency unknown in any other organism. In A. laidlawii B-PG9, the PPi requirement may be met by reactions in this organism already known to synthesize PPi (e.g., dUTPase and purine nucleobase phosphoribosyltransferases). In almost all other cells, the conversion of F-6-P to F-1,6-P2 is ATP dependent, and the reaction is generally considered to be the rate-limiting step of glycolysis. The ability of A. laidlawii B-PG9 and one other acholeplasma to use PPi instead of ATP as an energy source may offer these cytochrome-deficient organisms some metabolic advantage and may represent a conserved metabolic remnant of an earlier evolutionary process.