Subunit dissociation and unfolding of dimeric rabbit muscle triose phosphate isomerase (TIM) induced by hydrostatic pressure were investigated. Changes in fluorescence emission of TIM (both intrinsic and of covalently attached probes) indicated that pressure ranging from 1 bar to 3.5 kbar promoted subunit dissociation and unfolding. Instrinsic fluorescence changes upon unfolding by pressure included a 27 nm red-shift of the emission, a decrease in fluorescence anisotropy from 0.14 to about 0.01, and a 1.5-fold increase in fluorescence quantum yield, similar to that observed in the presence of guanidine hydrochloride. Kinetics of pressure-induced fluorescence changes were slow (t 1/2 approximately 15 min) and little dependent on pressure. In order to selectively monitor subunit dissociation, fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) measurements were carried out with TIM that was separately labeled with 5-((((2-iodoacetyl)-amino)ethyl)amino)naphthalene-1-sulfonic acid (1,5-IAEDANS) or fluorescein-5-isothiocyanate (FITC). FRET measurements indicated that subunit dissociation and unfolding took place concomitantly, both under equilibrium conditions and in kinetic experiments in which dissociation/unfolding was triggered by a sudden increase in pressure. Release of pressure caused monomer refolding and dimerization. Contrary to what would be expected for a process involving subunit dissociation, pressure effects on TIM were not dependent on protein concentration. Experiments involving a series of pressure jumps demonstrated persistent heterogeneity in sensitivity toward pressure in the ensemble of TIM dimers. This kind of deterministic behavior is similar to that exhibited by higher order protein aggregates and indicates that not all individual dimers are energetically identical in solution. The heterogeneity of native TIM revealed by sensitivity to pressure could not be detected by traditional means of protein separation, such as polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (under both native and denaturing conditions) and size exclusion gel chromatography. This suggests that energetic heterogeneity originates from conformational heterogeneity of the protein. The possible biological relevance of the deterministic character of stability of TIM is discussed.

Full Text

Published Version
Open DOI Link

Get access to 115M+ research papers

Discover from 40M+ Open access, 2M+ Pre-prints, 9.5M Topics and 32K+ Journals.

Sign Up Now! It's FREE

Talk to us

Join us for a 30 min session where you can share your feedback and ask us any queries you have

Schedule a call