Section 41
Chapter 40,539

Kinetics and importance of the dimerization step in the folding pathway of the beta 2 subunit of Escherichia coli tryptophan synthase

Blond, S.; Goldberg, M.E.

Journal of Molecular Biology 182(4): 597-606


ISSN/ISBN: 0022-2836
PMID: 3892016
DOI: 10.1016/0022-2836(85)90245-1
Accession: 040538828

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During its folding, the polypeptide chain of the beta 2 subunit of Escherichia coli tryptophan synthase (L-serine hydrolyase (adding indole) EC undergoes dimerization. To decide whether this dimerization precedes or follows the formation of the native, functional, tertiary structure of the polypeptide chain, the kinetics of renaturation of beta 2 are studied by monitoring both the regain of native conformation and the dimerization. Dimer formation is followed by the increase of the fluorescence polarization, or by energy transfer between a fluorescence donor and a fluorescence acceptor, which occur upon association of adequately labelled beta chains. Renaturation is followed by the regain of functional properties of beta 2, i.e. its ability to bind pyridoxal-5'-phosphate or to form a fluorescent ternary complex with this coenzyme and L-serine. It is shown that for beta 2 the dimerization obeys first-order kinetics, presumably because it occurs rapidly after a rate-limiting isomerization of the monomer. The dimerization is followed by another isomerization, taking place within the dimer, which leads to the formation of the pyridoxal-5'-phosphate binding site. Still another, slow, isomerization reaction involving the F1 (N-terminal) domain completes the renaturation. With a modified form of beta 2 (trypsin-nicked beta 2) where this isomerization of F1 can be made to occur before the dimerization, the dimer is also shown to appear before the functional properties. It is concluded that a non-native dimer indeed exists as an obligatory intermediate on the folding pathway of nicked beta 2 and of beta 2, and that interdomain interactions are needed to force the polypeptide chains into their native conformations.

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