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J Biol Chem. 2012 Jun 8;287(24):20111-21. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M112.354647. Epub 2012 Apr 18.

Characterization of conformational changes and protein-protein interactions of rod photoreceptor phosphodiesterase (PDE6).

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Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Biomedical Sciences, University of New Hampshire, Durham, New Hampshire 03824, USA.


As the central effector of visual transduction, the regulation of photoreceptor phosphodiesterase (PDE6) is controlled by both allosteric mechanisms and extrinsic binding partners. However, the conformational changes and interactions of PDE6 with known interacting proteins are poorly understood. Using a fluorescence detection system for the analytical ultracentrifuge, we examined allosteric changes in PDE6 structure and protein-protein interactions with its inhibitory γ-subunit, the prenyl-binding protein (PrBP/δ), and activated transducin. In solution, the PDE6 catalytic dimer (Pαβ) exhibits a more asymmetric shape (axial ratio of 6.6) than reported previously. The inhibitory Pγ subunit behaves as an intrinsically disordered protein in solution but binds with high affinity to the catalytic dimer to reconstitute the holoenzyme without a detectable change in shape. Whereas the closely related PDE5 homodimer undergoes a significant change in its sedimentation properties upon cGMP binding to its regulatory cGMP binding site, no such change was detected upon ligand binding to the PDE6 catalytic dimer. However, when Pαβ was reconstituted with Pγ truncation mutants lacking the C-terminal inhibitory region, cGMP-dependent allosteric changes were observed. PrBP/δ bound to the PDE6 holoenzyme with high affinity (K(D) = 6.2 nm) and induced elongation of the protein complex. Binding of activated transducin to PDE6 holoenzyme resulted in a concentration-dependent increase in the sedimentation coefficient, reflecting a dynamic equilibrium between transducin and PDE6. We conclude that allosteric regulation of PDE6 is more complex than for PDE5 and is dependent on interactions of regions of Pγ with the catalytic dimer.

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