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

The lactose permease of Escherichia coli: evidence in favor of a dimer.

Lactose permease from Escherichia coli T 206 was purified in octyl-beta-D-glucopyranoside (octyl-glucoside) according to Newman et al. [J. Biol. Chem. (1981) 256, 11804-11808]. In this detergent the protein has a very high tendency to aggregate nonspecifically. Therefore, exchange of octyl-glucoside was performed for another nonionic detergent, dodecyl octaethylene glycol monoether (C12E8), in which the protein is more stable. The amounts of bound C12E8 and phospholipids were measured using radioactive detergent and gas chromatography, respectively, and were found to be respectively 0.2 and 0.15 g/g protein. Analytical ultracentrifugation (sedimentation velocity and sedimentation equilibrium) and gel filtration (conventional and high performance liquid chromatography) experiments indicated that in this detergent the lactose permease existed mainly as a dimer. This result is at variance with the monomeric state of the protein reported by Wright et al. [FEBS Lett. (1983) 162, 11-15] in another nonionic detergent (dodecyl-o-beta-maltoside). We discuss the possible reason for this discrepancy and suggest that the dimeric state of association may well reflect the situation that prevails in the membrane.[1]


  1. The lactose permease of Escherichia coli: evidence in favor of a dimer. Houssin, C., le Maire, M., Aggerbeck, L.P., Shechter, E. Arch. Biochem. Biophys. (1985) [Pubmed]
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