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J Biol Chem. 1989 Jan 15;264(2):1245-51.

Domain structures of the dihydrolipoyl transacetylase and the protein X components of mammalian pyruvate dehydrogenase complex. Selective cleavage by protease Arg C.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, Kansas State University, Manhattan 66506.


Treatment of the dihydrolipoyl transacetylase-protein X-kinase subcomplex (E2-X-KcKb) with protease Arg C selectively converted protein X into an inner domain fragment (Mr approximately equal to 35,000) and an outer (lipoyl-bearing) domain fragment (Mr approximately equal to 15,500). These fragments were larger and much smaller, respectively, than the inner domain and outer domain fragments derived from the E2 component, supporting the conclusion that protein X is distinct from the E2 component. Protease Arg C cleaved the Kb subunit more slowly than protein X. An increase in kinase activity correlated with this cleavage of the Kb subunits. An even slower cleavage of E2 subunits generated an inner domain fragment (Mr approximately equal to 31,500) and a lipoyl-bearing domain fragment (Mr approximately equal to 49,000) which had Mr values at least 3,000 and 10,000 larger, respectively, than the corresponding E2 fragments generated by trypsin treatment of the subcomplex. Following various extents of cleavage with protease Arg C or trypsin, residual oligomeric subcomplexes were isolated and characterized. We found that selective removal of the lipoyl-bearing domain of protein X did not alter lipoyl-mediated regulation of the kinase indicating that the lipoyl residues bound to E2 subunits are effective, that the inner domain of protein X remained associated with the inner domain of E2 subunits following the complete removal of the outer domains of both E2 and protein X, that, with only 10% of the E2 subunits intact, nearly half of the catalytic (Kc) subunits of the kinase were bound by the residual subcomplex, and that removal of the remaining outer domains from E2 subunits released the Kc subunits. Thus, protein X is unique among the subunits of the complex in binding tightly to the oligomeric inner domain of the transacetylase, and the outer domain of the transacetylase serves to bind to and facilitate the regulation of the catalytic subunit of the kinase.

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