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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Monomer-dimer structure of cytochrome-c oxidase and cytochrome bc1 complex from the thermophilic bacterium PS3.

Molecular weights of three membrane proteins have been measured in the presence of 0.1% octaethylene glycol n-dodecyl ether (C12E8) by the measuring system in which a membrane protein eluted from a gel chromatography column is monitored sequentially for ultraviolet absorption, light scattering and refractive index. The relative molecular mass (Mr) and amount of bound detergent per protein (delta) can be calculated from these data, if instrumental constants are measured using a set of appropriate water-soluble proteins which does not bind nonionic surfactants. The molecular masses of cytochrome c oxidase and cytochrome bc1 complex from the thermophilic bacterium PS3 were determined to be 127 kDa and 185 kDa, respectively, indicating that the oxidase is monomeric, while the bc1 complex dimeric in the presence of C12E8. The larger apparent molecular mass of about 310 kDa of the PS3 oxidase obtained from the retention time of the gel chromatography (Sone, N., Sekimachi, M. and Kutoh, E. (1987) J. Biol. Chem. 262, 15386-15391) turned out to be due to a high binding ability with the detergent (delta = 1.25 g/g) of this very hydrophobic protein. Analyses of bovine heart cytochrome oxidase, on which monomer/dimer properties have been reported, showed that the enzyme is mainly dimeric (Mr = 374,000), while a small portion is monomeric (Mr = 191,000). Mild alkaline treatment of this enzyme caused monomerization of the enzyme with accompanying aggregate formation. These results, thus, show that this method is suitable to analyze monomer/dimer conversion of membrane protein as well as to estimate structure of membrane proteins.[1]


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