A broad view of scaffolding suggests that scaffolding proteins can actively control regulation and signaling of multienzyme complexes through allostery

Ruth Nussinov, Buyong Ma, Chung Jung Tsai

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Enzymes often work sequentially in pathways; and consecutive reaction steps are typically carried out by molecules associated in the same multienzyme complex. Localization confines the enzymes; anchors them; increases the effective concentration of substrates and products; and shortens pathway timescales; however, it does not explain enzyme coordination or pathway branching. Here, we distinguish between metabolic and signaling multienzyme complexes. We argue for a central role of scaffolding proteins in regulating multienzyme complexes signaling and suggest that metabolic multienzyme complexes are less dependent on scaffolding because they undergo conformational control through direct subunit-subunit contacts. In particular, we propose that scaffolding proteins have an essential function in controlling branching in signaling pathways. This new broadened definition of scaffolding proteins goes beyond cases such as the classic yeast mitogen-activated protein kinase Ste5 and encompasses proteins such as E3 ligases which lack active sites and work via allostery. With this definition, we classify the mechanisms of multienzyme complexes based on whether the substrates are transferred through the involvement of scaffolding proteins, and outline the functional merits to metabolic or signaling pathways. Overall, while co-localization topography helps multistep pathways non-specifically, allosteric regulation requires precise multienzyme organization and interactions and works via population shift, either through direct enzyme subunit-subunit interactions or through active involvement of scaffolding proteins. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: The emerging dynamic view of proteins: Protein plasticity in allostery, evolution and self-assembly.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)820-829
Number of pages10
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Proteins and Proteomics
Volume1834
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2013

Keywords

  • Allosteric
  • Conformational selection
  • Multi-enzyme complex
  • Multi-protein
  • Multiprotein
  • Population shift

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