Solution structure of the C-terminal zinc finger of the C. elegans protein MEX-5

Experimental Data Snapshot

  • Method: SOLUTION NMR
  • Conformers Calculated: 10 
  • Conformers Submitted: 20 
  • Selection Criteria: all calculated structures submitted 

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A Disorder-to-Order Transition Mediates RNA Binding of the Caenorhabditis elegans Protein MEX-5.

Tavella, D.Ertekin, A.Schaal, H.Ryder, S.P.Massi, F.

(2020) Biophys J 118: 2001-2014

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bpj.2020.02.032
  • Primary Citation of Related Structures:  

  • PubMed Abstract: 

    CCCH-type tandem zinc finger (TZF) domains are found in many RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) that regulate the essential processes of post-transcriptional gene expression and splicing through direct protein-RNA interactions. In Caenorhabditis elegans, RBPs control the translation, stability, or localization of maternal messenger RNAs required for patterning decisions before zygotic gene activation. MEX-5 (Muscle EXcess) is a C. elegans protein that leads a cascade of RBP localization events that is essential for axis polarization and germline differentiation after fertilization. Here, we report that at room temperature, the CCCH-type TZF domain of MEX-5 contains an unstructured zinc finger that folds upon binding of its RNA target. We have characterized the structure and dynamics of the TZF domain of MEX-5 and designed a variant MEX-5 in which both fingers are fully folded in the absence of RNA. Within the thermal range experienced by C. elegans, the population of the unfolded state of the TZF domain of MEX-5 varies. We observe that the TZF domain becomes less disordered at lower temperatures and more disordered at higher temperatures. However, in the temperature range in which C. elegans is fertile, when MEX-5 needs to be functional, only one of the two zinc fingers is folded.

  • Organizational Affiliation

    Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, Massachusetts.

Find similar proteins by:  (by identity cutoff)  |  3D Structure
Entity ID: 1
MoleculeChains Sequence LengthOrganismDetailsImage
Zinc finger protein mex-5A [auth X]35Caenorhabditis elegansMutation(s): 0 
Gene Names: mex-5W02A2.7
Find proteins for Q9XUB2 (Caenorhabditis elegans)
Explore Q9XUB2 
Go to UniProtKB:  Q9XUB2
Entity Groups  
Sequence Clusters30% Identity50% Identity70% Identity90% Identity95% Identity100% Identity
UniProt GroupQ9XUB2
Sequence Annotations
  • Reference Sequence
Small Molecules
Ligands 1 Unique
IDChains Name / Formula / InChI Key2D Diagram3D Interactions
Query on ZN

Download Ideal Coordinates CCD File 
B [auth X]ZINC ION
Experimental Data & Validation

Experimental Data

  • Method: SOLUTION NMR
  • Conformers Calculated: 10 
  • Conformers Submitted: 20 
  • Selection Criteria: all calculated structures submitted 

Structure Validation

View Full Validation Report

Entry History & Funding Information

Deposition Data

Funding OrganizationLocationGrant Number
National Institutes of Health/National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIH/NIGMS)United StatesGM117008

Revision History  (Full details and data files)

  • Version 1.0: 2020-04-29
    Type: Initial release
  • Version 1.1: 2020-05-06
    Changes: Database references
  • Version 1.2: 2023-06-14
    Changes: Database references, Other