E. coli elongation factor Tu bound to a GTP analogue displays an open conformation equivalent to the GDP-bound form.Johansen, J.S., Kavaliauskas, D., Pfeil, S.H., Blaise, M., Cooperman, B.S., Goldman, Y.E., Thirup, S.S., Knudsen, C.R.
(2018) Nucleic Acids Res. 46: 8641-8650
- PubMed: 30107565
- DOI: 10.1093/nar/gky697
- PubMed Abstract:
According to the traditional view, GTPases act as molecular switches, which cycle between distinct 'on' and 'off' conformations bound to GTP and GDP, respectively. Translation elongation factor EF-Tu is a GTPase essential for prokaryotic protein synt ...
According to the traditional view, GTPases act as molecular switches, which cycle between distinct 'on' and 'off' conformations bound to GTP and GDP, respectively. Translation elongation factor EF-Tu is a GTPase essential for prokaryotic protein synthesis. In its GTP-bound form, EF-Tu delivers aminoacylated tRNAs to the ribosome as a ternary complex. GTP hydrolysis is thought to cause the release of EF-Tu from aminoacyl-tRNA and the ribosome due to a dramatic conformational change following Pi release. Here, the crystal structure of Escherichia coli EF-Tu in complex with a non-hydrolysable GTP analogue (GDPNP) has been determined. Remarkably, the overall conformation of EF-Tu·GDPNP displays the classical, open GDP-bound conformation. This is in accordance with an emerging view that the identity of the bound guanine nucleotide is not 'locking' the GTPase in a fixed conformation. Using a single-molecule approach, the conformational dynamics of various ligand-bound forms of EF-Tu were probed in solution by fluorescence resonance energy transfer. The results suggest that EF-Tu, free in solution, may sample a wider set of conformations than the structurally well-defined GTP- and GDP-forms known from previous X-ray crystallographic studies. Only upon binding, as a ternary complex, to the mRNA-programmed ribosome, is the well-known, closed GTP-bound conformation, observed.
Department of Molecular Biology & Genetics, University of Aarhus, Gustav Wieds Vej 10 C, DK-8000 Aarhus C, Denmark.