Chemical modification of bovine transducin: effect of fluorescein 5'-isothiocyanate labeling on activities of the transducin alpha subunit

Hingorani, V.N.; Ho, Y.

Biochemistry 26(6): 1633-1639


ISSN/ISBN: 0006-2960
PMID: 3109470
DOI: 10.1021/bi00380a022
Accession: 039529498

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Fluorescein 5'-isothiocyanate (FITC) was used to modify the lysine residues of bovine transducin (T), a GTP-binding protein involved in phototransduction of rod photoreceptor cells. The incorporation of FITC showed a stoichiometry of approximately 1 mol of FITC/mol of transducin. The labeling was specific for the T alpha subunit. There was no significant incorporation on the T beta gamma subunit. The modification had no effect on the transducin-rhodopsin interaction or on the binding of guanosine 5'-(beta, gamma-imidotriphosphate) [Gpp(NH)p] to transducin in the presence of photolyzed rhodopsin. The dissociation of the FITC-transducin-Gpp(NH)p complex from rhodopsin membrane remained unchanged. However, the intrinsic GTPase activity of T alpha and its ability to activate the cGMP phosphodiesterase were diminished by FITC modification. The rate of FITC labeling of the transducin-Gpp(NH)p complex was about 3-fold slower than that of transducin. Limited tryptic digestion and peptide mapping were used to localize the FITC labeling site. The majority of the FITC label was on the 23-kilodalton fragment, and a minor amount was on the 9-kilodalton fragment of the T alpha subunit. These results indicate that FITC labeling does not alter the activation of transducin by photolyzed rhodopsin but does affect the GTP hydrolytic activity as well as the GTP-induced conformational change of T alpha, which ultimately leads to the activation of cGMP phosphodiesterase.