Folding, stability, and physical properties of the alpha subunit of bacterial luciferase.


Abstract

Bacterial luciferase is a heterodimeric (alphabeta) enzyme composed of homologous subunits. When the Vibrio harveyi luxA gene is expressed in Escherichia coli, the alpha subunit accumulates to high levels. The alpha subunit has a well-defined near-UV circular dichroism spectrum and a higher intrinsic fluorescence than the heterodimer, demonstrating fluorescence quenching in the enzyme which is reduced in the free subunit [Sinclair, J. F., Waddle, J. J., Waddill, W. F., and Baldwin, T. O. (1993) Biochemistry 32, 5036-5044]. Analytical ultracentrifugation of the alpha subunit has revealed a reversible monomer to dimer equilibrium with a dissociation constant of 14.9 +/- 4.0 microM at 18 degrees C in 50 mM phosphate and 100 mM NaCl, pH 7.0. The alpha subunit unfolded and refolded reversibly in urea-containing buffers by a three-state mechanism. The first transition occurred over the range of 0-2 M urea with an associated free-energy change of 2.24 +/- 0.25 kcal/mol at 18 degrees C in 50 mM phosphate buffer, pH 7.0. The second, occurring between 2.5 and 3.5 M urea, comprised a cooperative transition with a free-energy change of 6.50 +/- 0.75 kcal/mol. The intermediate species, populated maximally at ca. 2 M urea, has defined near-UV circular dichroism spectral properties distinct from either the native or the denatured states. The intrinsic fluorescence of the intermediate suggested that, although the quantum yield had decreased, the tryptophanyl residues remained largely buried. The far-UV circular dichroism spectrum of the intermediate indicated that it had lost ca. 40% of its native secondary structure. N-Terminal sequencing of the products of limited proteolysis of the intermediate showed that the C-terminal region of the alpha subunit became protease labile over the urea concentration range at which the intermediate was maximally populated. These observations have led us to propose an unfolding model in which the first transition is the unfolding of a C-terminal subdomain and the second transition represents the unfolding of a more stable N-terminal subdomain. Comparison of the structural properties of the unfolding intermediate using spectroscopic probes and limited proteolysis of the alpha subunit with those of the alphabeta heterodimer suggested that the unfolding pathway of the alpha subunit is the same, whether it is in the form of the free subunit or in the heterodimer. Study holds ProTherm entries: 5678, 5679, 5680, 5681 Extra Details: transition 1 heterodimeric (alphabeta) enzyme; three-state mechanism;,free-energy; structural property; unfolding pathway

Submission Details

ID: QfBeUnhX3

Submitter: Connie Wang

Submission Date: April 24, 2018, 8:30 p.m.

Version: 1

Publication Details
Noland BW;Dangott LJ;Baldwin TO,Biochemistry (1999) Folding, stability, and physical properties of the alpha subunit of bacterial luciferase. PMID:10587436
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