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PLoS By Category | Recent PLoS Articles
Biochemistry - Biophysics - Physics

Decoding the Folding of Burkholderia glumae Lipase: Folding Intermediates En Route to Kinetic Stability
Published: Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Author: Kris Pauwels et al.

by Kris Pauwels, Manuel M. Sanchez del Pino, Georges Feller, Patrick Van Gelder

The lipase produced by Burkholderia glumae folds spontaneously into an inactive near-native state and requires a periplasmic chaperone to reach its final active and secretion-competent fold. The B. glumae lipase-specific foldase (Lif) is classified as a member of the steric-chaperone family of which the propeptides of a-lytic protease and subtilisin are the best known representatives. Steric chaperones play a key role in conferring kinetic stability to proteins. However, until present there was no solid experimental evidence that Lif-dependent lipases are kinetically trapped enzymes. By combining thermal denaturation studies with proteolytic resistance experiments and the description of distinct folding intermediates, we demonstrate that the native lipase has a kinetically stable conformation. We show that a newly discovered molten globule-like conformation has distinct properties that clearly differ from those of the near-native intermediate state. The folding fingerprint of Lif-dependent lipases is put in the context of the protease-prodomain system and the comparison reveals clear differences that render the lipase-Lif systems unique. Limited proteolysis unveils structural differences between the near-native intermediate and the native conformation and sets the stage to shed light onto the nature of the kinetic barrier.
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