ATP hydrolysis is critical for induction of conformational changes in GroEL that expose hydrophobic surfaces

Boris M. Gorovits, Jesse Ybarra, Paul M. Horowitz

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10 Scopus citations


The degree of hydrophobic exposure in the molecular chaperone GroEL during its cycle of ATP hydrolysis was analyzed using 1,1'-bis(4- anilino)naphthalene-5,5'disulfonic acid (bisANS), a hydrophobic probe, whose fluorescence is highly sensitive to the environment. In the presence of 10 mM MgCl2 and 10 mM KCl the addition of ATP, but not ADP or AMP-PNP, resulted in a time-dependent, linear increase in the bisANS fluorescence. The rate of the increase in the bisANS fluorescence depended on the concentrations of both GroEL and the probe. The effect could be substantially inhibited by addition of excess ADP or by converting ATP to ADP using hexokinase, showing that the increase in the bisANS fluorescence was correlated with ATP hydrolysis. The rate of ATP hydrolysis catalyzed by GroEL was uncompetitively inhibited in the presence of bisANS. This uncompetitive inhibition suggests that the probe can interact with the GroEL-ATP complex. The inability of the nonhydrolyzable ATP analog, AMP-PNP, to cause a similar effect is explained by the interaction of bisANS with a transient conformational state of GroEL formed consequent to ATP hydrolysis. It is suggested that this short lived hydrophobic exposure reflects a conformational shift in GroEL that results from electrostatic repulsion between the bound products of ATP hydrolysis, and it plays an important role in the mechanism of the chaperonin cycle.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6842-6845
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number11
StatePublished - Mar 14 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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