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Biochem J. 1990 Apr 1;267(1):197-202.

Structure of the lysosomal neuraminidase-beta-galactosidase-carboxypeptidase multienzymic complex.

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Service de Génétique Médicale, Hôpital Sainte-Justine, Université de Montréal, Québec, Canada.


Lysosomal neuraminidase (sialidase; EC and beta-galactosidase (EC, together with a carboxypeptidase, the so-called 'protective protein', were co-purified from the human placenta by affinity chromatography on a concanavalin A-Sepharose column followed by a thiogalactoside-agarose affinity column for beta-galactosidase. Analysis of the purified material by gel-filtration h.p.l.c. revealed three distinct molecular forms, all with high beta-galactosidase specific activity, but only the largest one expressed neuraminidase activity. Rechromatography of each individual species separately indicated that all three are in fact part of an equilibrium system (the neuraminidase-beta-galactosidase-carboxypeptidase complex or NGC-complex) and that these species undergo slow conversion into one another through dissociation and association of protomeric components. Each species was sufficiently stable for the determination of their hydrodynamic properties by gel-filtration h.p.l.c. and sedimentation velocity. The largest species had an apparent sedimentation coefficient S20.w, of 18.8 S and a Stokes' radius of 8.5 nm, giving a molecular mass of 679 kDa and a fractional ratio, f/f min, of 1.47. The latter value indicates that the macromolecule is asymmetric or highly hydrated. This large species is composed of four types of polypeptide chains of molecular mass 66 kDa (neuraminidase), 63 kDa (beta-galactosidase), 32 kDa and 20 kDa (carboxypeptidase heterodimer). The 32 kDa and 20 kDa protomers are linked together by a disulphide bridge. Glycopeptidase F digestion of the NGC-complex transformed the diffuse 66-63 kDa band on the SDS gel into two close but sharp bands at 58 and 56 kDa. The two smaller species which were separated on the h.p.l.c. column correspond to tetrameric and dimeric forms of the 66-63 kDa protomers and express exclusively beta-galactosidase activity. Treatment of the NGC-complex with increasing concentrations of guanidinium hydrochloride up to 1.5 M also resulted in dissociation of the complex into the same smaller species mentioned above plus two protomers of molecular mass around 60 and 50 kDa. A model of the largest molecular species as a hexamer of the 66-63 kDa protomers associated to five carboxypeptidase heterodimers (32 kDa and 20 kDa) is proposed

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