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Lyotropic‐salt‐induced changes in monomer/dimer/tetramer association equilibrium of formyltransferase from the hyperthermophilic Methanopyrus kandleri in relation to the activity and thermostability of the enzyme

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Ermler,  Ulrich       
Department of Molecular Membrane Biology, Max Planck Institute of Biophysics, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Shima, S., Tziatzios, C., Schubert, D., Fukada, H., Takahashi, K., Ermler, U., et al. (1998). Lyotropic‐salt‐induced changes in monomer/dimer/tetramer association equilibrium of formyltransferase from the hyperthermophilic Methanopyrus kandleri in relation to the activity and thermostability of the enzyme. European Journal of Biochemistry, 258(1), 85-92. doi:10.1046/j.1432-1327.1998.2580085.x.


Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0007-6A06-C
Abstract
Formyltransferase from Methanopyrus kandleri is composed of only one type of subunits of molecular mass 32 kDa. The enzyme requires the presence of lyotropic salts for activity and thermostability. We report here that the enzyme is in a monomer/dimer/tetramer association equilibrium, the association constant being affected by lyotropic salts. At 0.01 M K2HPO4/KH2PO4, pH 7.2, the enzyme (0.4 mg/ml) was mainly present in a monomeric form. Upon increase of the phosphate concentration, the concentration of the dimer increased up to a phosphate concentration of 0.6 M, then decrease at the expense of tetramer formation up to a phosphate concentration of 1.0 M. The specific activity at 4°C increased from < 0.1 U/mg at 0.01 M, over 1.5 U/mg at 0.6 M to 3.6 U/mg at 1.0 M. Similar results were obtained with ammonium sulfate as lyotropic salt. The findings indicate that both oligomerization and activity increase with increasing salt concentrations, suggesting that there is a causal connection. To determine this, we exploited the observation that oligomer formation was not induced by the weak lyotropic salt NaCl up to a concentration of 1.5 M and that the dissociation of the dimer into the monomer at 4°C proceeded very slowly (50% in approximately 6 h). This allowed us to study the effect of NaCl on the activity of the oligomers at NaCl concentrations not sufficient to induce oligomerization. At 4°C, the activity of the oligomers increased from 0.3 U/mg at 0.25 M NaCl to 3.4 U/mg at 1.0 M NaCl. At these NaCl concentrations, the monomers were inactive. The findings indicate that oligomerization is a prerequisite for enzyme activity in the presence of NaCl. The salt‐dependent induction of oligomerization was parallelled by an increase in thermostability; strong lyotropic salts conferred thermostability at much lower concentrations than the weak lyotropic NaCl.