Effects of pH on tubulin-nucleotide interactions

Hamel, Ernest ; Batra, Janendra K. ; Huang, Abbott B. ; Lin, Chii M. (1986) Effects of pH on tubulin-nucleotide interactions Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics, 245 (2). pp. 316-330. ISSN 0003-9861

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Official URL: http://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/000398...

Related URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0003-9861(86)90222-5


Significant GTP-independent, temperature-dependent turbidity development occurs with purified tubulin stored in the absence of unbound nucleotide, and this can be minimized with a higher reaction pH. Since microtubule assembly is optimal at lower pH values, we examined pH effects on tubulin-nucleotide interactions. While the lowest concentration of GTP required for assembly changed little, GDP was more inhibitory at higher pH values. The amounts of exogenous GTP bound to tubulin at all pH values were similar, but the amounts of exogenous GDP bound and endogenous GDP (i.e., GDP originally bound in the exchangeable site) retained by tubulin rose as reaction pH increased. Endogenous GDP was more efficiently displaced by exogenous GTP than GDP at all pH values, but displacement by GTP was 10-15% greater at pH 6 than at pH 7. Dissociation constants for GDP and GTP were about 1.0 μM at pH 6 and 0.02 μM at pH 7. A small increase in the affinity of GDP relative to that of GTP occurs at pH 7 as compared to pH 6, together with a 50-fold absolute increase in the affinity of both nucleotides for tubulin at pH 7. The time courses of microtubule assembly and GTP hydrolysis were compared at pH 6 and pH 7. At pH 6, the two reactions were simultaneous in onset and initially stoichiometric. At pH 7, although the reactions began simultaneously, hydrolysis seemed to lag substantially behind assembly. Unhydrolyzed radio-labeled GTP was not incorporated into microtubules, however, indicating that GTP hydrolysis is actually closely coupled to assembly. The apparent lag in hydrolysis probably results from a methodological artifact rather than incorporation of GTP into the microtubule with delayed hydrolysis.

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