Electrostatic attraction governs the dimer assembly of human hemoglobin

N T Mrabet, M J McDonald, S Turci, R Sarkar, A Szabo, H F Bunn
1986 Journal of Biological Chemistry  
We have investigated the effect of surface charge on the rate of assembly of alpha beta dimers of human hemoglobin A: alpha + beta k a----alpha beta. Heme intact beta A subunits were compared with four mutant subunits which differ by integral units of charge: beta N(Lys-95----Glu) (2-); beta J(Gly-16----Asp) (1-); beta S(Glu-6----Val) (1+); beta C(Glu-6----Lys) (2+). Subunit competition experiments were performed as follows. Varying amounts of 3H-labeled alpha A subunits were added to a mixture
more » ... added to a mixture containing equal amounts of beta A and beta X subunits so that alpha/(beta A + beta X) ranged from 0.05-1.0. The reconstituted 3H-labeled Hbs A and X were analyzed by ion-exchange high pressure liquid chromatography as well as by gel electrofocusing and fluorography. Under the solvent conditions employed (10 mM PO4(Na), pH 7.0, 0 degrees C) a predominant proportion of the beta subunits was monomeric. Therefore, the ratio of Hb X to Hb A formed from subunit reconstitution when alpha/(beta X + beta A) approached zero provides a direct measure of the relative rates of monomer combination: kXa/kAa. The experimental values of this ratio decreased monotonically with the overall charge of the variant beta subunit: beta N = 2.6; beta J = 1.5; beta S = 0.41; beta C = 0.13. In contrast surface charge had no significant effect on the rate of dissociation of the alpha beta dimer: alpha beta kd----alpha + beta. At pH 8.0, where the alpha chains lack a net surface charge, they combined equally well to beta A and beta C chains. These experiments are consistent with a two-step mechanism, alpha + beta in equilibrium (alpha...beta) in equilibrium alpha beta, where the oppositely charged monomers diffuse together under the influence of their mutual electrostatic interaction to form a nonspecifically bound encounter complex [alpha...beta] that undergoes a surface charge-independent rearrangement to form the stable dimer.
pmid:3957922 fatcat:n63jhyyycnbyddm6b4r4ziccuu