Characterization of the Reversible Conformational Equilibrium in the Cytoplasmic Domain of Human Erythrocyte Membrane Band 3

Jianzhong Zhou, Philip S. Low

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29 Scopus citations


The cytoplasmic domain of erythrocyte membrane band 3 (cdb3) serves as a center of membrane organization, interacting with such proteins as ankyrin, protein 4.1, protein 4.2, hemoglobin, several glycolytic enzymes, and a tyrosine kinase, p72syk. cdb3 exists in a reversible, pH-dependent conformational equilibrium characterized by large changes in Stokes radius (11 Å) and intrinsic fluorescence (2-fold). Based on the crystallographic structure of the cdb3 dimer, we hypothesized that the above conformational equilibrium might involve the movement of flanking peripheral protein binding domains away from a shared dimerization domain. To test this hypothesis, we have mutated both donor (W105L) and acceptor (D316A) residues of a prominent H bond that bridges the above two domains and have examined the effect on the resulting conformational equilibrium. Analysis of the intrinsic fluorescence, Stokes radius, thermal stability, urea stability, and segmental mobility of these mutants reveals that the above H bond is indeed present in the low pH conformation of cdb3 and broken in a higher pH conformation. The data further reveal that cdb3 exists in three native pH-dependent conformations and that rupture of the aforementioned H bond occurs only during conversion of the low pH conformation to the mid-pH conformation. Conversion of the mid-pH conformation to the high pH conformation would now appear to involve structural changes primarily in the peripheral protein binding domain. Because ankyrin associates avidly with the low pH conformation of cdb3, ankyrin occupancy should strongly influence this structural equilibrium and thereby affect band 3 and perhaps global membrane properties.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)38147-38151
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number41
StatePublished - Oct 12 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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