Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.508, No.4, 1101-1105, 2019
Oligomeric state of alpha B-crystallin under crowded conditions
Small heat shock proteins (sHsps) are molecular chaperones preventing protein aggregation. Dynamics of quaternary structure plays an important role in the chaperone-like activity of sHsps. However, an interrelation between the oligomeric state and chaperone-like activity of sHsps remains insufficiently characterized. Most of the accumulated data were obtained in dilute protein solutions, leaving the question of the oligomeric state of sHsps in crowded intracellular media largely unanswered. Here, we analyzed the effect of crowding on the oligomeric state of alpha B-crystallin (alpha B-Cr) using analytical ultracentrifugation. Marked increase in the sedimentation coefficient of alpha B-Cr was observed in the presence of polyethylene glycol (PEG), polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) and trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO) at 48 degrees C. An especially pronounced effect was detected for the PEG and TMAO mixture, where the sedimentation coefficient (s(20),w) of aB-Cr increased from 10.7 S in dilute solution up to 40.7 S in the presence of crowding agents. In the PEG + TMAO mixture, addition of model protein substrate (muscle glycogen phosphorylase b) induced dissociation of large alpha B-Cr oligomers and formation of complexes with smaller sedimentation coefficients, supporting the idea that, under crowding conditions, protein substrates can promote dissociation of large alpha B-Cr oligomers. (C) 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.