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Protein Sci. 1999 Nov;8(11):2501-5.

The relationship between effector binding and inhibition of activity in D-3-phosphoglycerate dehydrogenase.

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Department of Molecular Biology and Pharmacology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri 63110, USA.


The binding of L-serine to phosphoglycerate dehydrogenase from Escherichia coli displays elements of both positive and negative cooperativity. At pH 7.5, approximately 2 mol of serine are bound per mole of tetrameric enzyme. A substantial degree of positive cooperativity is seen for the binding of the second ligand, but the binding of the third and fourth ligand display substantial negative cooperativity. The data indicate a state of approximately 50% inhibition when only one serine is bound and approximately 80-90% inhibition when two serines are bound. This is consistent with the tethered domain hypothesis that has been presented previously. Comparison of the data derived directly from binding stoichiometry to the binding constants determined from the best fit to the Adair equation, produce a close agreement, and reinforce the general validity of the derived binding constants. The data also support the conclusion that the positive cooperativity between the binding to the first and second site involves binding sites at opposite interfaces over 110 A apart. Thus, an order of binding can be envisioned where the binding of the first ligand initiates a conformational transition that allows the second ligand to bind with much higher affinity at the opposite interface. This is followed by the third ligand, which binds with lesser affinity to one of the two already occupied interfaces, and in so doing, completes a global conformational transition that produces maximum inhibition of activity and an even lower affinity for the fourth ligand, excluding it completely. Thus, maximal inhibition is accomplished with less than maximal occupancy of effector sites through a mechanism that displays strong elements of both positive and negative cooperativity.

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