Structural and functional properties of a multi-enzyme complex from spinach chloroplasts. 1. Stoichiometry of the polypeptide chains

Eur J Biochem. 1993 Nov 1;217(3):1065-73. doi: 10.1111/j.1432-1033.1993.tb18338.x.


Antibodies have been raised specifically against chloroplast phosphoribulokinase, glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase and ribulose 1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase-oxygenase. Each of these antibodies recognizes the same macromolecular entity isolated and purified from chloroplasts. This entity is a multi-enzyme complex, previously isolated and made up of ribose-phosphate isomerase, phosphoribulokinase, ribulose 1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase-oxygenase, phosphoglycerate kinase and glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase. Under denaturing conditions the multi-enzyme complex contains two polypeptides of 54 kDa and 15 kDa corresponding to the large and the small subunits of ribulose 1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase-oxygenase, the two polypeptides of the glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase of 39 kDa and 37 kDa, one polypeptide of 40 kDa pertaining to phosphoribulokinase and one polypeptide of 30 kDa very likely pertaining to ribose-phosphate isomerase. The combined use of immunochemical and densitometric techniques allows one to determine the number and the stoichiometry of the various types of polypeptide chains and to compare them with the quaternary structure of the corresponding isolated enzymes. Ribulose 1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase-oxygenase of higher plants consists of eight large and eight small subunits. Glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase is made up of two types of polypeptide chains called A and B and its simplest quaternary structure is A2B2. Finally, phosphoribulokinase is a dimer made up of two identical subunits. Therefore, for the three isolated enzymes, the stoichiometry of the polypeptide chains is always 1:1. Within this multi-enzyme complex, there are two subunits of phosphoribulokinase, two A and B subunits of glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase and two large and four small subunits of ribulose 1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase-oxygenase. Therefore the number and the stoichiometry of the polypeptide chains of phosphoribulokinase and glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase are the same in the multi-enzyme complex and in the free enzymes, but those of ribulose 1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase-oxygenase are completely different. This conclusion that the multi-enzyme complex contains two active sites for ribulose 1,5-bisphosphate may be confirmed independently by kinetic inhibition studies using 6-phosphogluconate.

MeSH terms

  • Binding Sites
  • Chloroplasts / enzymology*
  • Glyceraldehyde-3-Phosphate Dehydrogenases / metabolism
  • Kinetics
  • Multienzyme Complexes / chemistry*
  • Multienzyme Complexes / metabolism
  • Peptides / chemistry*
  • Phosphotransferases (Alcohol Group Acceptor) / metabolism
  • Protein Conformation
  • Ribulose-Bisphosphate Carboxylase / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Ribulose-Bisphosphate Carboxylase / metabolism
  • Structure-Activity Relationship
  • Vegetables / enzymology*


  • Multienzyme Complexes
  • Peptides
  • Glyceraldehyde-3-Phosphate Dehydrogenases
  • Phosphotransferases (Alcohol Group Acceptor)
  • phosphoribulokinase
  • Ribulose-Bisphosphate Carboxylase