Triosephosphate isomerase (TIM) is an enzyme of the glycolysis pathway which exists in almost all types of cells. Its structure is the prototype of a motif called TIM-barrel or (α/β) barrel, which is the most common fold of all known enzyme structures. The simplest form in which TIM is catalytically active is a homodimer, in many species of bacteria and eukaryotes, or a homotetramer in some archaea. Here we show that the purified homodimeric TIMs from nine different species of eukaryotes and one of an extremophile bacterium spontaneously form higher order aggregates that can range from 3 to 21 dimers per macromolecular complex. We analysed these aggregates with clear native electrophoresis with normal and inverse polarity, blue native polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, liquid chromatography, dynamic light scattering, thermal shift assay and transmission electron and fluorescence microscopies, we also performed bioinformatic analysis of the sequences of all enzymes to identify and predict regions that are prone to aggregation. Additionally, the capacity of TIM from Trypanosoma brucei to form fibrillar aggregates was characterized. Our results indicate that all the TIMs we studied are capable of forming oligomers of different sizes. This is significant because aggregation of TIM may be important in some of its non-catalytic moonlighting functions, like being a potent food allergen, or in its role associated with Alzheimer's disease.
Última actualización: 06/12/2021