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PLoS One. 2008 Apr 23;3(4):e1931. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0001931.

SAM domain-based protein oligomerization observed by live-cell fluorescence fluctuation spectroscopy.

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  • 1The Stowers Institute for Medical Research, Kansas City, Missouri, United States of America.

Abstract

Sterile-alpha-motif (SAM) domains are common protein interaction motifs observed in organisms as diverse as yeast and human. They play a role in protein homo- and hetero-interactions in processes ranging from signal transduction to RNA binding. In addition, mutations in SAM domain and SAM-mediated oligomers have been linked to several diseases. To date, the observation of heterogeneous SAM-mediated oligomers in vivo has been elusive, which represents a common challenge in dissecting cellular biochemistry in live-cell systems. In this study, we report the oligomerization and binding stoichiometry of high-order, multi-component complexes of (SAM) domain proteins Ste11 and Ste50 in live yeast cells using fluorescence fluctuation methods. Fluorescence cross-correlation spectroscopy (FCCS) and 1-dimensional photon counting histogram (1dPCH) confirm the SAM-mediated interaction and oligomerization of Ste11 and Ste50. Two-dimensional PCH (2dPCH), with endogenously expressed proteins tagged with GFP or mCherry, uniquely indicates that Ste11 and Ste50 form a heterogeneous complex in the yeast cytosol comprised of a dimer of Ste11 and a monomer of Ste50. In addition, Ste50 also exists as a high order oligomer that does not interact with Ste11, and the size of this oligomer decreases in response to signals that activate the MAP kinase cascade. Surprisingly, a SAM domain mutant of Ste50 disrupted not only the Ste50 oligomers but also Ste11 dimerization. These results establish an in vivo model of Ste50 and Ste11 homo- and hetero-oligomerization and highlight the usefulness of 2dPCH for quantitative dissection of complex molecular interactions in genetic model organisms such as yeast.

PMID:
18431466
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2291563
Free PMC Article

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