Stability of the Retinoid X Receptor-α Homodimer in the Presence and Absence of Rexinoid and Coactivator Peptide

Academic Article


  • Differential scanning calorimetry and differential scanning fluorimetry were used to measure the thermal stability of human retinoid X receptor-α ligand binding domain (RXRα LBD) homodimer in the absence or presence of rexinoid and coactivator peptide, GRIP-1. The apo-RXRα LBD homodimer displayed a single thermal unfolding transition with a Tm of 58.7 °C and an unfolding enthalpy (δH) of 673 kJ/mol (12.5 J/g), much lower than average value (35 J/g) of small globular proteins. Using a heat capacity change (δCp) of 15 kJ/(mol K) determined by measurements at different pH values, the free energy of unfolding (δG) of the native state was 33 kJ/mol at 37 °C. Rexinoid binding to the apo-homodimer increased Tm by 5 to 9 °C and increased the δG of the native homodimer by 12 to 20 kJ/mol at 37 °C, consistent with the nanomolar dissociation constant (Kd) of the rexinoids. GRIP-1 binding to holo-homodimers containing rexinoid resulted in additional increases in δG of 14 kJ/mol, a value that was the same for all three rexinoids. Binding of rexinoid and GRIP-1 resulted in a combined 50% increase in unfolding enthalpy, consistent with reduced structural fluidity and more compact folding observed in other published structural studies. The complexes of UAB110 and UAB111 are each more stable than the UAB30 complex by 8 kJ/mol due to enhanced hydrophobic interactions in the binding pocket because of their larger end groups. This increase in thermodynamic stability positively correlates with their improved RXR activation potency. Thermodynamic measurements are thus valuable in predicting agonist potency.
  • Published In

  • Biochemistry  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Yang Z; Muccio DD; Melo N; Atigadda VR; Renfrow MB
  • Start Page

  • 1165
  • End Page

  • 1177
  • Volume

  • 60
  • Issue

  • 15