Force spectroscopy of substrate molecules en route to the proteasome's active sites.
Biophysical Journal 100(2):489 (2011)
We used an atomic force microscope to study the mechanism underlying the translocation of substrate molecules inside the proteasome. Our specific experimental setup allowed us to measure interaction forces between the 20S proteasome and its substrates. The substrate (β-casein) was covalently bound either via a thiol-Au bond or by a PEG-based binding procedure to the atomic force microscope cantilever tip and offered as bait to proteasomes from Methanosarcina mazei. The proteasomes were immobilized densely in an upright orientation on mica, which made their upper pores accessible for substrates to enter. Besides performing conventional single-molecule force spectroscopy experiments, we developed a three-step procedure that allows the detection of specific proteasome-substrate single-molecule events without tip-sample contact. Using the active 20S wild type and an inactive active-site mutant, as well as two casein mutants bound with opposite termini to the microscope tip, we detected no directional preference of the proteasome-substrate interactions. By comparing the distribution of the measured forces for the proteasome-substrate interactions, were observed that a significant proportion of interaction events occurred at higher forces for the active versus the inactive proteasome. These forces can be attributed to the translocation of substrate en route to the active sites that are harbored deep inside the proteasome.
Copyright Â© 2011 Biophysical Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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