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J Biol Chem. 2005 Apr 22;280(16):15786-93. Epub 2005 Feb 14.

Substrate-induced interconversion of protein quaternary structure isoforms.

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  • 1Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19111, USA.


Human porphobilinogen synthase (PBGS) can exist in two dramatically different quaternary structure isoforms, which have been proposed to be in dynamic equilibrium. The quaternary structure isoforms of PBGS result from two alternative conformations of the monomer; one monomer structure assembles into a high activity octamer, whereas the other monomer structure assembles into a low activity hexamer. The kinetic behavior of these oligomers led to the hypothesis that turnover facilitates the interconversion of the oligomeric structures. The current work demonstrates that the interactions of ligands at the enzyme active site promote the structural interconversion between human PBGS quaternary structure isoforms, favoring formation of the octamer. This observation illustrates that the assembly and disassembly of oligomeric proteins can be facilitated by the protein motions that accompany enzymatic catalysis.

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