Solution and interface aggregation states of Crotalus atrox venom phospholipase A2 by two-photon excitation fluorescence correlation spectroscopy

S. A. Sanchez, Y. Chen, J. D. Müller, E. Gratton, T. L. Hazlett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


The dimeric Crotalus atrox venom PLA2 is part of the secreted phospholipase A2 (PLA2) enzyme family that interacts at the lipid-solution interface to hydrolyze the sn-2 acyl ester bond of phospholipids. We have employed fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS) to study the monomer-dimer equilibrium of the C. atrox venom PLA2 in solution, in the presence of urea, and in the presence of monomeric and micellar n-dodecylphosphocholine (C 12-PN), a phosphatidylcholine analogue. Dilution experiments show that PLA2 is an extremely tight dimer, Kd ≤ 0.01 nM, in solution. Urea was introduced to weaken the subunit's association, and an estimate for the PLA2 dimer dissociation constant in buffer was obtained by linear extrapolation. The derived dissociation constant was at least several orders of magnitude greater than that suggested from the dilution experiments, indicating a complex interaction between urea and the PLA2 dimer. FCS data indicate that the PLA2 dimer begins to dissociate at 10 mM C12-PN in 10 mM Ca2+ and at 5 mM C12-PN in 1 mM EDTA. The PLA2 tryptophan fluorescence displayed spectral shifts and intensity changes upon interacting with C12-PN. On the basis of the FCS and tryptophan fluorescence results, we postulate an intermediate state where the two monomers are in loose interaction within a protein-lipid comicelle. As the concentration of C12-PN was increased, complete dissociation of the dimer was observed, inferred from the doubling of the particle number, and the average diffusion constant decreased to approximately 60/μm2/s, consistent with PLA2 associated with a C12-PN micelle. The presence of Ca2+ makes the comicelle intermediate more stable, retarding the separation of the monomers in the micellar suspension. Our data clearly indicate that PLA2, though a strong dimer in the absence of lipids, is dissociated by micellar C12-PN and supports the monomer hypothesis for PLA2 action.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6903-6911
Number of pages9
Issue number23
StatePublished - Jun 12 2001


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