Structural basis of mechanochemical coupling in a hexameric molecular motor

Kainov, Denis E, Mancini, Erika J, Telenius, Jelena, Lísal, Jiří, Grimes, Jonathan M, Bamford, Dennis H, Stuart, David I and Tuma, Roman (2008) Structural basis of mechanochemical coupling in a hexameric molecular motor. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 283 (6). pp. 3607-3617. ISSN 0021-9258

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The P4 protein of bacteriophage φ 12 is a hexameric molecular motor closely related to superfamily 4 helicases. P4 converts chemical energy from ATP hydrolysis into mechanical work, to translocate single-stranded RNA into a viral capsid. The molecular basis of mechanochemical coupling, i.e. how small ∼1 Å changes in the ATP-binding site are amplified into nanometer scale motion along the nucleic acid, is not understood at the atomic level. Here we study in atomic detail the mechanochemical coupling using structural and biochemical analyses of P4 mutants. We show that a conserved region, consisting of superfamily 4 helicase motifs H3 and H4 and loop L2, constitutes the moving lever of the motor. The lever tip encompasses an RNA-binding site that moves along the mechanical reaction coordinate. The lever is flanked by γ-phosphate sensors (Asn-234 and Ser-252) that report the nucleotide state of neighboring subunits and control the lever position. Insertion of an arginine finger (Arg-279) into the neighboring catalytic site is concomitant with lever movement and commences ATP hydrolysis. This ensures cooperative sequential hydrolysis that is tightly coupled to mechanical motion. Given the structural conservation, the mutated residues may play similar roles in other hexameric helicases and related molecular motors. © 2008 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Life Sciences > Biochemistry
Subjects: Q Science
Depositing User: Tom Gittoes
Date Deposited: 29 Jan 2015 15:04
Last Modified: 29 Jan 2015 15:04
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