Trp203 mutation in GroEL promotes a self-association reaction: a hydrodynamic study

C Walters, A Clarke, M J Cliff, P A Lund, S E Harding

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A combination of sedimentation equilibrium and sedimentation velocity in the analytical ultracentrifuge is used to investigate the hydrodynamic integrity and increased self-association interactions of the mutant GroEL Y203W when compared to the wild-type GroEL molecule, which may be derived from increased hydrophobic exposure caused by the mutation. Sedimentation velocity has revealed that three distinct species were present throughout the concentration ranges used, corresponding to 14-mer (GroEL "super monomer") and 28-mer ("super dimer") subunit compositions with a small amount of 42-mer ("super trimer"), which, from the relative concentration of each species, would give an estimated weight average molecular weight of (1.0 +/- 0.1) x 10(6) Da. Sedimentation equilibrium gave an apparent weight average molecular weight (Mw,app) of (910,000 +/- 5000) Da, which is in agreement with these findings. These results are in contrast to wild-type GroEL which, in excellent agreement with the previous findings of Behlke and co-workers, revealed a single species with an Mw,app of (805,000 +/- 5200) Da and a sedimentation coefficient s(0)20,w of (21.6 +/- 0.3) S. We therefore conclude that the tryptophan mutation at the Y203 location causes a significant degree of self-association of the GroEL 14-mer assembly (with dimer and trimer present). These findings would appear to correlate well with the findings of Gibbons et al., who showed an increase in hydrophobic exposure due to this mutation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)420-8
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Biophysics Journal
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2000


  • Tryptophan
  • Software
  • Models, Molecular
  • Chaperonin 60
  • Dimerization
  • Point Mutation
  • Escherichia coli
  • Phenylalanine
  • Amino Acid Substitution
  • Protein Conformation


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