Int J Mol Sci 24 (4) - [2023-02-16; online 2023-02-16]
Plant hemoglobins, often referred to as phytoglobins, play important roles in abiotic stress tolerance. Several essential small physiological metabolites can be bound to these heme proteins. In addition, phytoglobins can catalyze a range of different oxidative reactions in vivo. These proteins are often oligomeric, but the degree and relevance of subunit interactions are largely unknown. In this study, we delineate which residues are involved in dimer formation of a sugar beet phytoglobin type 1.2 (BvPgb1.2) using NMR relaxation experiments. E. coli cells harboring a phytoglobin expression vector were cultivated in isotope-labeled (2H, 13C and 15N) M9 medium. The triple-labeled protein was purified to homogeneity using two chromatographic steps. Two forms of BvPgb1.2 were examined, the oxy-form and the more stable cyanide-form. Using three-dimensional triple-resonance NMR experiments, sequence-specific assignments for CN-bound BvPgb1.2 were achieved for 137 backbone amide cross-peaks in the 1H-15N TROSY spectrum, which amounts to 83% of the total number of 165 expected cross-peaks. A large proportion of the non-assigned residues are located in α-helixes G and H, which are proposed to be involved in protein dimerization. Such knowledge around dimer formation will be instrumental for developing a better understanding of phytoglobins' roles in planta.