Association of the PDHK2 and GST-L2 (glutathione-S-transferase fused to the inner lipoyl domain (L2) of dihydrolipoyl acetyltransferase (E2)) dimers was enhanced by K+ with higher affinity K+ binding than occurs at the PDHK2 active site. Supporting a distinct K+ binding site, the NH4+ ion did not effectively replace K+ in aiding GST-L2 binding. With 50 mM K+, Pi enhanced interference by ADP, ATP, or pyruvate of PDHK2 binding to GST-L2. The inclusion of Pi with ADP or ATP plus pyruvate greatly hindered PDHK2 binding to GST-L2 and promoted PDHK2 forming a tetramer. Reciprocally, GST-L2 interference with ATP/ADP binding also required elevated K+ and was increased by Pi. Potent inhibition by Nov3r of E2-activated PDHK2 activity (IC50 of ∼7.8 nM) required elevated K+ and Pi. Nov3r only modestly inhibited the low activity of PDHK2 without E2. By binding at the lipoyl group binding site, Nov3r prevented PDHK2 binding to E2 and GST-L2. Nov3r interfered with high-affinity binding of ADP and pyruvate via a P i-dependent mechanism. Thus, GST-L2 binding to PDHK2 is supported by K+ binding at a site distinct from the active site. Pi makes major contributions to ligands interfering with PDHK2 binding to GST-L2, the conversion of PDHK2 dimer to a tetramer, and Nov3r (an acetyllipoate analog) interfering with binding of ADP and pyruvate. Pi is suggested to facilitate transmission within PDHK2 of the stimulatory signal of acetylation from the distal lipoyl-group binding site to the active site.
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