Biotin-binding antibodies were raised in rabbits by injecting biotin–bovine serum albumin conjugate. Neither the protomer nor the polymer of rat mammary-gland acetyl-CoA carboxylase formed precipitin bands with the anti-biotin. By virtue of its ability to bind biotin (apparent binding constant for free biotin about 1μm), the anti-biotin inhibited the carboxylase activity under certain conditions. This property of the antibody was employed to detect the ligand-induced changes affecting the biotinyl group in different conformational states of mammalian carboxylase. Depending on the ligand present, the biotinyl group in the protomeric form was either accessible or inaccessible to the antibody. The biotinyl group of the protomer generated by a relatively high concentration of NaCl (0.5m) reacted with the antibody, and the antibody–carboxylase complex could not be converted into active enzyme by citrate. Further experiments showed that citrate failed to induce polymerization in this protomer–antibody complex and that anti-biotin could be displaced rapidly from this complex with excess of biotin. The resulting protomer was converted into the polymeric state on citrate addition, with parallel regain of enzyme activity. In the presence of ADP+Mg2+, ATP+Mg2+ or ATP+Mg2++HCO3, however, the enzyme remained as a protomer, but its configuration was such that the biotinyl group was essentially inaccessible to the antibody. Likewise, the biotinyl group of the different polymeric forms of the carboxylase (s∼30–45S) engendered by phosphate, malonyl-CoA, acetyl-CoA or citrate remained essentially inaccessible, since their activity was minimally affected by the anti-biotin. In the presence of 0.15m-NaCl, the phosphate-induced polymer reverted to a ∼19S form with concomitant appearance of anti-biotin-sensitivity, whereas the other polymeric forms remained unaffected under similar experimental conditions.

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