• Authors: Zhou, Z., Gross, S., Roussos, C., Meurer, S., Muller-Esterl, W., Papapetropoulos, A.
  • Year: 2004
  • Journal: J Biol Chem 279 24935-43
  • Applications: in vitro / DNA / jetPEI
  • Cell type: COSm6


Soluble guanylyl cyclase (sGC) is a ubiquitous enzyme that functions as a receptor for nitric oxide. Despite the obligate heterodimeric nature of sGC, the sequence segments mediating subunit association have remained elusive. Our initial screening for relevant interaction site(s) in the most common sGC isoenzyme, alpha(1) beta(1), identified two regions in each subunit, i.e. the regulatory domains and the central regions, contributing to heterodimer formation. To map the relevant segments in the beta(1) subunit precisely, we constructed multiple N- and C-terminal deletion variants and cotransfected them with full-length alpha(1) in COS cells. Immunoprecipitation revealed that a sequence segment spanning positions 204-408 mediates binding of beta(1) to alpha(1) The same region of beta(1)[204-408] was found to promote beta /beta(1) homodimerization. Fusion of [204 beta(1)-408] to enhanced green fluorescent protein conferred binding activity to the recipient protein. Coexpression of beta(1)[204-408] with alpha(1) or beta(1) targeted the sGC subunits for proteasomal degradation, suggesting that beta(1)[204-408] forms structurally deficient complexes with alpha(1) and beta(1). Analysis of deletion constructs lacking portions of the beta(1) dimerization region identified two distinct segments contributing to alpha(1) binding, i.e. an N-terminal site covering positions 204-244 and a C-terminal site at 379-408. Both sites are crucial for sGC function because deletion of either site rendered sGC dimerization-deficient and thus functionally inactive. We conclude that the dimerization region of beta(1) extends over 205 residues of its regulatory and central domains and that two discontinuous sites of 41 and 30 residues, respectively, facilitate binding of beta(1) to the alpha(1) subunit of sGC.