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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2012 Dec;1818(12):3090-7. doi: 10.1016/j.bbamem.2012.08.004. Epub 2012 Aug 18.

Oligomeric state study of prokaryotic rhomboid proteases.

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Department of Biochemistry, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T6G 2H7.


Rhomboid peptidases (proteases) play key roles in signaling events at the membrane bilayer. Understanding the regulation of rhomboid function is crucial for insight into its mechanism of action. Here we examine the oligomeric state of three different rhomboid proteases. We subjected Haemophilus influenzae, (hiGlpG), Escherichia coli GlpG (ecGlpG) and Bacillus subtilis (YqgP) to sedimentation equilibrium analysis in detergent-solubilized dodecylmaltoside (DDM) solution. For hiGlpG and ecGlpG, rhomboids consisting of the core 6 transmembrane domains without and with soluble domains respectively, and YqgP, predicted to have 7 transmembrane domains with larger soluble domains at the termini, the predominant species was dimeric with low amounts of monomer and tetramers observed. To examine the effect of the membrane domain alone on oligomeric state of rhomboid, hiGlpG, the simplest form from the rhomboid class of intramembrane proteases representing the canonical rhomboid core of six transmembrane domains, was studied further. Using gel filtration and crosslinking we demonstrate that hiGlpG is dimeric and functional in DDM detergent solution. More importantly co-immunoprecipitation studies demonstrate that the dimer is present in the lipid bilayer suggesting a physiological dimer. Overall these results indicate that rhomboids form oligomers which are facilitated by the membrane domain. For hiGlpG we have shown that these oligomers exist in the lipid bilayer. This is the first detailed oligomeric state characterization of the rhomboid family of peptidases.

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