YC-1 binding to the β subunit of soluble guanylyl cyclase overcomes allosteric inhibition by the α subunit

Rahul Purohit, Bradley G. Fritz, Juliana The, Aaron Issaian, Andrzej Weichsel, Cynthia L. David, Eric Campbell, Andrew C. Hausrath, Leida Rassouli-Taylor, Elsa D. Garcin, Matthew J. Gage, William R. Montfort

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Soluble guanylate cyclase (sGC) is a heterodimeric heme protein and the primary nitric oxide receptor. NO binding stimulates cyclase activity, leading to regulation of cardiovascular physiology and making sGC an attractive target for drug discovery. YC-1 and related compounds stimulate sGC both independently and synergistically with NO and CO binding; however, where the compounds bind and how they work remain unknown. Using linked equilibrium binding measurements, surface plasmon resonance, and domain truncations in Manduca sexta and bovine sGC, we demonstrate that YC-1 binds near or directly to the heme-containing domain of the β subunit. In the absence of CO, YC-1 binds with a K d of 9-21 μM, depending on the construct. In the presence of CO, these values decrease to 0.6-1.1 μM. Pfizer compound 25 bound ∼10-fold weaker than YC-1 in the absence of CO, whereas compound BAY 41-2272 bound particularly tightly in the presence of CO (Kd = 30-90 nM). Additionally, we found that CO binds much more weakly to heterodimeric sGC proteins (Kd = 50-100 μM) than to the isolated heme domain (K d = 0.2 μM for Manduca β H-NOX/PAS). YC-1 greatly enhanced binding of CO to heterodimeric sGC, as expected (Kd ∼ 1 μM). These data indicate the α subunit induces a heme pocket conformation with a lower affinity for CO and NO. YC-1 family compounds bind near the heme domain, overcoming the α subunit effect and inducing a heme pocket conformation with high affinity. We propose this high-affinity conformation is required for the full-length protein to achieve high catalytic activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)101-114
Number of pages14
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 14 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry


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