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J Biol Chem. 2000 Jan 7;275(1):297-302.

Crystal versus solution structures of thiamine diphosphate-dependent enzymes.

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European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Hamburg Outstation, Deutsches Elektronen Synchrotron, Notkestrasse 85, D-22603 Hamburg, Germany. Svergun@EMBL-Hamburg.DE


The quaternary structures of the thiamine diphosphate-dependent enzymes transketolase (EC; from Saccharomyces cerevisiae), pyruvate oxidase (EC; from Lactobacillus plantarum), and pyruvate decarboxylase (EC; from Zymomonas mobilis and brewers' yeast, the latter in the native and pyruvamide-activated forms) were examined by synchrotron x-ray solution scattering. The experimental scattering data were compared with the curves calculated from the crystallographic models of these multisubunit enzymes. For all enzymes noted above, except the very compact pyruvate decarboxylase from Z. mobilis, there were significant differences between the experimental and calculated profiles. The changes in relative positions of the subunits in solution were determined by rigid body refinement. For pyruvate oxidase and transketolase, which have tight intersubunit contacts in the crystal, relatively small modifications of the quaternary structure (root mean square displacements of 0.23 and 0.27 nm, respectively) sufficed to fit the experimental data. For the enzymes with looser contacts (the native and activated forms of yeast pyruvate decarboxylase), large modifications of the crystallographic models (root mean square displacements of 0.58 and 1.53 nm, respectively) were required. A clear correlation was observed between the magnitude of the distortions induced by the crystal environment and the interfacial area between subunits.

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