Flux into the glycolytic pathway of most cells is controlled via allosteric regulation of the irreversible, committing step catalyzed by ATP-dependent phosphofructokinase (PFK) (ATP-PFK; EC 188.8.131.52), the key enzyme of glycolysis, In some organisms, the step is catalyzed by PPi-dependent PFK (PPi-PFK; EC 184.108.40.206), which uses PPi instead of ATP as the phosphoryl donor, conserving ATP and rendering the reaction reversible under physiological conditions. We have determined the enzymic properties of PPi-PFK from the anaerobic, hyperthermophilic archaeon Thermoproteus tenax, purified the enzyme to homogeneity, and sequenced the gene. The similar to 100-kDa PPi-PFK from T. tenax consists of 37-kDa subunits; is not regulated by classical effecters of ATP-PFKs such as ATP, ADP, fructose 2,6-bisphosphate, or metabolic intermediates; and shares 20 to 50% sequence identity with known PFK enzymes. Phylogenetic analyses of biochemically characterized PFKs grouped the enzymes into three monophyletic clusters: PFK group I represents only classical ATP-PFKs from Bacteria and Eucarya; PFK group II contains only PPi-PFKs from the genus Propionibacterium, plants, and amitochondriate protists; whereas group III consists of PFKs with either cosubstrate specificity, i.e., the PPi-dependent enzymes from T. tenax and Amycolatopsis methanolica and the ATP-PFK from Streptomyces coelicolor. Comparative analyses of the pattern of conserved active-site residues strongly suggest that the group III PFKs originally bound PPi as a cosubstrate.