Substrate-induced structural changes of the pyruvate dehydrogenase multienzyme complex

Balázs Sümegi, József Batke, Zoltán Porpáczy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)


The time course of the overall reaction catalyzed by the pyruvate dehydrogenase multienzyme complex produces an unexpectedly high lag (τ = 8 s) even in the presence of saturating concentrations of its substrates. The preincubation of the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex with one of the substrates alone decreases the duration of this lag, and all the substrates of the pyruvate dehydrogenase component (E1) and dihydrolipoyl transacetylase component (E2) together (pyruvate, thiamine pyrophosphate, and CoA) result in the complete disappearance of the lag. The reduction of the dihydrolipoyl dehydrogenase component (E3) of the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex with the substrates of the complex in the absence of NAD+ produces significantly different quenching in the FAD fluorescence, and then the reduction with the substrates of E3 as dihydrolipoic acid and dithioerythritol. (The formation of FADH2 was not observed in the system.) The higher fluorescence quenching in the presence of substrates of pyruvate dehydrogenase complex compared to the effect caused by the substrates of the E3 component (dihydrolipoic acid and DTE) indicates conformational changes additionally manifested in the fluorescence properties of the enzyme complex. The substrate-induced quenching of the enzyme-bound FAD fluorescence shows biphasic kinetics. The rate constant of the slow phase is comparable with the rate constant calculated from the time duration of the lag phase observed in the overall reaction. The kinetic analysis of both intensity and anisotropy decrease of the FAD fluorescence suggests a consecutive transmittance of an all substrate-coordinated, induced conformational changes directed from the pyruvate dehydrogenase-via the lipoyl transacetylase-to the lipoyl dehydrogenase. Two simultaneous conformational effects caused by binding of the substrates can be distinguished; one of them results the fluorescence of the bound FAD to be more quenched, while the other makes the FAD more mobile. The first-order rate constants of both these conformational changes were determined. The present observations suggest that the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex exists in a partially inactive state in the absence of its substrates, and it becomes active due to conformational changes caused by the binding of its substrates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)741-752
Number of pages12
JournalArchives of Biochemistry and Biophysics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 1985

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology

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