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  • Biophysical characterization of the dimer and tetramer interface interactions of the human cytosolic malic enzyme.

Biophysical characterization of the dimer and tetramer interface interactions of the human cytosolic malic enzyme.

PloS one (2013-01-04)
Sujithkumar Murugan, Hui-Chih Hung
ABSTRACT

The cytosolic NADP(+)-dependent malic enzyme (c-NADP-ME) has a dimer-dimer quaternary structure in which the dimer interface associates more tightly than the tetramer interface. In this study, the urea-induced unfolding process of the c-NADP-ME interface mutants was monitored using fluorescence and circular dichroism spectroscopy, analytical ultracentrifugation and enzyme activities. Here, we demonstrate the differential protein stability between dimer and tetramer interface interactions of human c-NADP-ME. Our data clearly demonstrate that the protein stability of c-NADP-ME is affected predominantly by disruptions at the dimer interface rather than at the tetramer interface. First, during thermal stability experiments, the melting temperatures of the wild-type and tetramer interface mutants are 8-10°C higher than those of the dimer interface mutants. Second, during urea denaturation experiments, the thermodynamic parameters of the wild-type and tetramer interface mutants are almost identical. However, for the dimer interface mutants, the first transition of the urea unfolding curves shift towards a lower urea concentration, and the unfolding intermediate exist at a lower urea concentration. Third, for tetrameric WT c-NADP-ME, the enzyme is first dissociated from a tetramer to dimers before the 2 M urea treatment, and the dimers then dissociated into monomers before the 2.5 M urea treatment. With a dimeric tetramer interface mutant (H142A/D568A), the dimer completely dissociated into monomers after a 2.5 M urea treatment, while for a dimeric dimer interface mutant (H51A/D90A), the dimer completely dissociated into monomers after a 1.5 M urea treatment, indicating that the interactions of c-NADP-ME at the dimer interface are truly stronger than at the tetramer interface. Thus, this study provides a reasonable explanation for why malic enzymes need to assemble as a dimer of dimers.