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Biochemistry. 1999 Apr 27;38(17):5651-8.

Proteasome activator 11S REG or PA28: recombinant REG alpha/REG beta hetero-oligomers are heptamers.

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Department of Biochemistry, University of Utah, Salt Lake City 84132, USA.


The proteasome activator 11S REG or PA28 is a conical molecule composed of two homologous subunits, REG alpha and REG beta. Recombinant REG alpha forms a heptamer, whereas recombinant REG beta is a monomer. When mixed with REG beta, a monomeric REG alpha mutant (N50Y) forms an active hetero-oligomer in which the molar ratio of REG beta to REG alpha(N50Y) is close to 1.3. This apparent stoichiometry is consistent with the REG alpha(N50Y)/REG beta hetero-oligomer being a heptamer composed of three alpha and four beta subunits. Chemical cross-linking of the alpha/beta oligomers revealed the presence of REG alpha-REG beta and REG beta-REG beta dimers, but REG alpha-REG alpha dimers were not detected. The mass of the REG alpha(N50Y)/REG beta hetero-oligomer determined by electrospray ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (ESI-TOF MS) is 194 871 +/- 40 Da in good agreement with the theoretical mass of 194 856 Da for an alpha 3 beta 4 heptamer. Hexamers were not observed in the mass spectrum. For wild-type REG subunits coexpressed in bacteria cells at an apparent beta/alpha molar ratio of approximately 1.2, the resulting hetero-oligomers observed by ESI-TOF MS were again predominantly alpha 3 beta 4 heptamers, with trace amounts of alpha 4 beta heptamers also present. On the other hand, the mass spectrum contained a mixture of alpha 7, alpha 6 beta 1, alpha 5 beta 2, and alpha 4 beta 3 heptamers when the REG beta/REG alpha ratio was 0.1. Thus, formation of heptamers is an intrinsic property of recombinant REG alpha and REG beta subunits. On the basis of these results, we propose that 11S REG purified directly from eukaryotic cells is also heptameric, likely alpha 3 beta 4 or a mixture of alpha 3 beta 4 and alpha 4 beta 3 species.

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