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Control of the structural stability of the tubulin dimer by one high affinity bound magnesium ion at nucleotide N-site

AuthorsMenéndez, Margarita ; Rivas, Germán ; Díaz, José Fernando ; Andreu, José Manuel
Issue Date2-Jan-1998
PublisherAmerican Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
CitationJ Biol Chem 273(1):167-76 (1998)
AbstractTubulin liganded with GTP at the N-site in the alpha-subunit and with GDP at the E-site in the beta-subunit (GDP-tubulin) reversibly binds one high affinity Mg2+ cation (Kb = 1.1 x 10(7) M-1), whereas tubulin liganded with GTP at both subunits (GTP-tubulin) binds one more high affinity Mg2+. The two cation binding loci are identified as nucleotide sites N and E, respectively. Mg2+ at the N-site controls the stability and structure of the alphabeta-tubulin dimer. Mg2+ dissociation is followed by the slow release of bound nucleotide and functional inactivation. Mg2+ bound to the N-site significantly increases the thermal stability of the GDP-tubulin dimer (by 10 degrees C and approximately 50 kcal mol-1 of experimental enthalpy change). However, the thermal stability of Mg2+-liganded GDP- and GTP-tubulin is the same. Mg2+ binding to the N-site is linked to the alphabeta-dimer formation. The binding of Mg2+ to the alpha-subunit communicates a marked enhancement of fluorescence to a colchicine analogue bound to the beta-subunit. Colchicine, in turn, thermally stabilizes Mg2+-depleted tubulin. The tubulin properties described would be simply explained if the N-site and the colchicine site are at the alpha-beta dimerization interface. It follows that the E-site would be at the beta-end of the tubulin dimer, consistent with the known functional role of the E nucleotide gamma-phosphate and coordinated cation controlling microtubule stability.
Description11 p.-12 fig.-6 tab.
Publisher version (URL)https://doi.org/10.1074/jbc.273.1.167
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