Interactions of a signal transduction protein investigated by fluorescence stopped-flow kinetics


To understand cellular processes such as biochemical pathways and signaling networks, we need to understand binding and reaction rates of often competing reactions, their dependence on cellular concentrations of participating molecules, and the regulation of these rates through allostery, posttranslational modifications, or other mechanisms. To do so, we break these systems down into their elementary steps, which are almost invariably either unimolecular or bimolecular reactions that frequently occur on sub-second, often sub-millisecond, time scales. Rapid mixing techniques, which generally achieve mixing in less than 2 ms, are generally suitable for the study of such reactions. The application of these techniques to the study of enzyme mechanisms is described in several excellent texts (Cornish-Bowden, Fundamentals of enzyme kinetics, 1995; Gutfreund, Kinetics for the life sciences. Receptors, transmitters and catalysis, 1995); flow techniques are used to study individual steps by monitoring the approach to equilibrium (the pre-steady state) under single turnover conditions.The individual steps in complex biochemical reaction schemes determine how fast systems can respond to incoming signals and adapt to changed conditions [1, 2]. This chapter is concerned with in vitro techniques that have been developed to study fast reactions in solution, and we present the study of various interactions of calmodulin as an example. The kinetic information obtained with these techniques is indispensable for understanding the dynamics of biochemical processes and complements the static structural and thermodynamic information available from X-ray crystallography, NMR, and equilibrium binding studies.

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Volume 2263
Pages 83-104
Available online
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Crick labs/facilities