Preparation of heme-free soluble guanylate cyclase

Peter Schmidt, Matthias Schramm, Henning Schröder, Johannes Peter Stasch

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16 Scopus citations


Soluble guanylate cyclase (sGC), a heterodimer consisting of α- and β-subunit, is the key enzyme of the NO/cGMP signaling pathway. The heme moiety ligated to the β-subunit via His105 is crucial for the activation of the enzyme by NO. In addition to this NO binding capability, the heme status of the enzyme influences the activity of non-NO sGC activators and sGC inhibitors. Different sGC activity profiles were observed in the presence, absence, or the oxidized form of heme. Modulating the heme status is therefore crucial for the investigation of the mechanism of sGC activation. Here, we present a simple and reliable procedure for the removal of the heme moiety of sGC that is capable of eliminating any traces of unbound heme and detergent from the sample mixture in one single step. Samples containing 15 μg sGC and the non-ionic detergent Tween 20 (2%) were incubated at 37 °C for 10 min and loaded onto centrifugal ion exchange columns. After centrifugation, heme was bound entirely to the ion exchanger and could not be eluted, even after incubation with 1 M NaCl. Tween 20 was found completely within the flowthrough. Heme-free sGC was eluted from the ion exchanger after application of 300 mM NaCl. The absence of the heme moiety was confirmed by UV/Vis spectra and determination of the enzymatic activity. In summary, the described procedure is suitable for the preparation of very small amounts of highly purified heme-free sGC for the investigation of the mechanism of action of different types of sGC activators.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)42-46
Number of pages5
JournalProtein Expression and Purification
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 1 2003


  • BAY 41-2272
  • BAY 58-2667
  • Heme
  • NO
  • Sgc
  • YC-1


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