The in vitro refolding of the monomeric, mitochondrial enzyme rhodanese (thiosulfate: cyanide sulfurtransferase, EC 188.8.131.52), which is assisted by the E. coli chaperonins, is modulated by the 23 amino acid peptide (VHQVLYRALVSTKWLAESVRAGK) corresponding to the amino terminal sequence (1-23) of rhodanese. In the absence of the peptide, a maximum recovery of active enzyme of about 65% is achieved after 90 min of initiation of the chaperonin assisted folding reaction. In contrast, this process is substantially inhibited in the presence of the peptide. The maximum recovery of active enzyme is peptide concentration-dependent. The peptide, however, does not prevent the interaction of rhodanese with the chaperonin 60 (cpn60), which leads to the formation of the cpn60-rhodanese complex. In addition, the peptide does not affect the rate of recovery of active enzyme, although it does affect the extent of recovery. Further, the unassisted refolding of rhodanese is also inhibited by the peptide. Thus, the peptide interferes with the folding of rhodanese in either the chaperonin assisted or the unassisted refolding of the enzyme. A 13 amino acid peptide (STKWLAESVRAGK) corresponding to the amino terminal sequence (11-23) of rhodanese does not show any significant effect on the chaperonin assisted or unassisted refolding of the enzyme. The results suggest that other sequences of rhodanese, in addition to the N-terminus, may be required for the binding of cpn60, in accord with a model in which cpn60 interacts with polypeptides through multiple binding sites.
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