Istituto di Biofisica     
Cioni P., Strambini G. B. Pressure-Induced Dissociation of Yeast Glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate Dehydrogenase: Heterogeneous Kinetics and Perturbations of Subunit Structure. In: Biochemistry, vol. 36 (28) pp. 8586 - 8593. American Chemical Society, 1997.
In studies of pressure-induced subunit dissociation of oligomeric proteins, the thermodynamic dissociation constant and the dissociation volume change are derived by assuming that high pressure itself does not significantly perturb the structure of both oligomer and isolated subunit. In this report, the intrinsic phosphorescence emission of Trp reveals that high-pressure dissociation of tetrameric yeast glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase results in a dramatic shortening of the phosphorescence lifetime, from 300 to less than 2 ms, that is consistent with a profound loosening of the polypeptide structure about the phosphorescence probe. On pressure release, subunit reassociation occurs readily whereas recovery of the native phosphorescence properties is a very slow, thermally activated, process which goes hand in hand with the recovery of the catalytic activity. Further, the comparison between the kinetic traces that describe the degree of dissociation and the change in phosphorescence lifetime, at various applied pressures, has established the following: (1) that high pressure plays a direct role on the structural rearrangement, the extent of which increases with pressure; (2) that the conformational change in the monomer is concomitant with, or follows closely after, the break up of the tetramer, in any case long before an apparent tetramer−monomer equilibrium is established; (3) that native tetramers are highly heterogeneous with regard to their rate of dissociation. The influence of temperature, of protein concentration, of binding of NAD+, and of the addition of 2 M urea on the dissociation/phosphorescence kinetic profiles was also examined. The complications arising from these conformational changes for the derivation of the dissociation free energy change as well as their relevance for understanding the lack of concentration dependence of the degree of dissociation are discussed.
DOI: 10.1021/bi970419a
Subject Pressure
Subunit dissociation
Oligomeric proteins
Thermodynamic dissociation constant
Yeast glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase
Conformational changes

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