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J Biol Chem. 1997 Jul 25;272(30):18834-41.

Rac binding to p67(phox). Structural basis for interactions of the Rac1 effector region and insert region with components of the respiratory burst oxidase.

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Department of Biochemistry, Aichi Medical University, Nagakute Aichi 480-11, Japan.


Activation of the respiratory burst oxidase involves the assembly of the membrane-associated flavocytochrome b558 with the cytosolic components p47(phox), p67(phox), and the small GTPase Rac. Herein, the interaction between Rac and p67(phox) is explored using functional and physical methods. Mutually facilitated binding (EC50) of Rac1 and p67(phox) within the NADPH oxidase complex was demonstrated using steady state kinetic methods measuring NADPH-dependent superoxide generation. Direct binding of Rac1 and Rac2 to p67(phox) was shown using a fluorescent analog of GTP (methylanthraniloyl guanosine-5'-[beta,gamma-imido]triphosphate) bound to Rac as a reporter group. An increase in the methylanthraniloyl fluorescence was seen with added p67(phox) but not p47(phox), and the emission maximum shifted from 445 to 440 nm. Rac1 and Rac2 bound to p67(phox) with a 1:1 stoichiometry and with Kd values of 120 and 60 nM, respectively. Mutational studies (Freeman, J., Kreck, M., Uhlinger, D. J., and Lambeth, J. D. (1994) Biochemistry 33, 13431-13435; Freeman, J. L., Abo, A., and Lambeth, J. D. (1996) J. Biol. Chem. 271, 19794-19801) previously identified two regions in Rac1 that are important for activity: the "effector region" (residues 26-45) and the "insert region" (residues 124-135). Proteins mutated in the effector region (Rac1(N26H), Rac1(I33N), and Rac1(D38N)) showed a marked increase in both the Kd and the EC50, indicating that mutations in this region affect activity by inhibiting Rac binding to p67(phox). Insert region mutations (Rac1(K132E) and L134R), while showing markedly elevated EC50 values, bound with normal affinity to p67(phox). The structure of Rac1 determined by x-ray crystallography reveals that the effector region and the insert region are located in defined sectors on the surface of Rac1. A model is discussed in which the Rac1 effector region binds to p67(phox), the C terminus binds to the membrane, and the insert region interacts with a different protein component, possibly cytochrome b558.

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