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Analysis of PKR Activation Using Analytical Ultracentrifugation

Authors

  • James L. Cole

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, National Analytical Ultracentrifugation Facility, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT 06269, USA
    • Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, National Analytical Ultracentrifugation Facility, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT 06269, USA, Fax: (+860) 486 4331
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Abstract

Protein kinase R (PKR) is a central component of the interferon antiviral defense pathway. Upon binding to dsRNA, PKR undergoes autophosphorylation reactions that activate the kinase, resulting in the inhibition of protein synthesis in virally-infected cells. We have used analytical ultracentrifugation and related biophysical methods to quantitatively characterize the stoichiometries, affinities, and free energy couplings that govern the assembly of the macromolecular complexes in the PKR activation pathway. These studies demonstrate that PKR dimerization play a key role in enzymatic activation and support a model where the role of dsRNA is to bring two or more PKR monomers in close proximity to enhance dimerization.

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