The binding of a fluorescent activator 2-(N-decyl)aminonaphthalene-6-sulfonic acid to pyruvate oxidase.

H. L. Schrock, R. B. Gennis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


E. coli pyruvate oxidase (pyruvate:ferricytochrome b1 oxidoreductase, EC is a peripheral membrane flavoenzyme which has been purified to homogeneity. In vivo the oxidase resides on the inner surface of the cytoplasmic membrane and is coupled to the bacterial electron transport chain. In vitro, the purified oxidase requires lipids for full enzymatic activity. Previous studies have characterized the conformational and energetic coupling between the lipid-binding site(s) and the catalytic active site. The affinity of the enzyme for phospholipids and detergents is significantly enhanced when the flavoprotein is in the reduced form, i.e., in the presence of pyruvate and the required cofactor, thiamin pyrophosphate. The lipid-binding studies were hindered due to the complicating factor of the self-association of the substrate-reduced flavoprotein. In this paper, fluorescence techniques are employed to measure the binding of a detergent-like activator to the oxidase. The experiments are performed at much lower protein concentrations than previously employed, so that protein aggregation is not a problem. The chromophore on the activator, 2-(N-decyl)aminonaphthalene-6-sulfonic acid is effective at quenching the pyruvate oxidase intrinsic tryptophan fluorescence. Quenching titrations are used to obtain the binding isotherm. AT DNS concentrations less than 10(-5) M, the results show a larger amount of DNS binding to the reduced flavoprotein than to the oxidized form of the enzyme. This is the concentration range where DNS is an effective activator of the enzyme. This represents a class of binding sites specifically found on pyruvate oxidase and not apparent in other proteins such as lysozyme or aldolase. At the DNS concentration which is optimum for activation approx. 20 molecules of DNS are bound per enzyme tetramer in the absence of the substrate. The pyruvate-reduced form of the enzyme binds about 40--50 molecules of DNS per tetramer. Qualitatively, the results are similar to what was previously found for both sodium dodecyl sulfate and cetyl trimethylammonium bromide. However, in both these cases, the amount of bound detergent was nearly an order of magnitude less than the values obtained using DNS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10-18
Number of pages9
JournalBBA - Biochimica et Biophysica Acta
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 9 1980
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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