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Biochemistry. 1985 May 7;24(10):2425-31.

Escherichia coli pyruvate dehydrogenase complex: particle masses of the complex and component enzymes measured by scanning transmission electron microscopy.


Particle masses of the Escherichia coli pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH) complex and its component enzymes have been measured by scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM). The particle mass of PDH complex measured by STEM is 5.28 X 10(6) with a standard deviation of 0.40 X 10(6). The masses of the component enzymes together with their standard deviations are (2.06 +/- 0.26) X 10(5) for the dimeric pyruvate dehydrogenase (E1), (1.15 +/- 0.17) X 10(5) for dimeric dihydrolipoyl dehydrogenase (E3), and (2.20 +/- 0.17) X 10(6) for dihydrolipoyl transacetylase (E2), the 24-subunit core enzyme. The latter value corresponds to a subunit molecular weight of (9.17 +/- 0.71) X 10(4) for E2. The subunit molecular weight measured by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis in sodium dodecyl sulfate is 8.6 X 10(4). STEM measurements on PDH complex incubated with excess E3 or E1 failed to detect any additional binding of E3 but showed that the complex would bind additional E1 under forcing conditions (high concentrations with glutaraldehyde). The additional E1 subunits were bound too weakly to represent binding sites in an isolated or isolable complex. The mass measurements by STEM are consistent with the subunit composition 24:24:12 when interpreted in the light of the flavin content of the complex and assuming 24 subunits in the core enzyme (E2).

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