The M2-1 protein of human metapneumovirus (HMPV) is a zinc-binding transcription antiterminator which is highly conserved among pneumoviruses. We report the structure of tetrameric HMPV M2-1. Each protomer features a N-terminal zinc finger domain and an α-helical tetramerization motif forming a rigid unit, followed by a flexible linker and an α-helical core domain. The tetramer is asymmetric, three of the protomers exhibiting a closed conformation, and one an open conformation. Molecular dynamics simulations and SAXS demonstrate a dynamic equilibrium between open and closed conformations in solution. Structures of adenosine monophosphate- and DNA- bound M2-1 establish the role of the zinc finger domain in base-specific recognition of RNA. Binding to 'gene end' RNA sequences stabilized the closed conformation of M2-1 leading to a drastic shift in the conformational landscape of M2-1. We propose a model for recognition of gene end signals and discuss the implications of these findings for transcriptional regulation in pneumoviruses.
- Volker Dötsch, Goethe University, Germany
© 2014, Leyrat et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
Downloads (link to download the article as PDF)
Download citations (links to download the citations from this article in formats compatible with various reference manager tools)
Open citations (links to open the citations from this article in various online reference manager services)
The molecular bases of heteromeric assembly and link between Na+ self-inhibition and protease-sensitivity in epithelial sodium channels (ENaCs) are not fully understood. Previously, we demonstrated that ENaC subunits – α, β, and γ – assemble in a counterclockwise configuration when viewed from outside the cell with the protease-sensitive GRIP domains in the periphery (Noreng et al., 2018). Here we describe the structure of ENaC resolved by cryo-electron microscopy at 3 Å. We find that a combination of precise domain arrangement and complementary hydrogen bonding network defines the subunit arrangement. Furthermore, we determined that the α subunit has a primary functional module consisting of the finger and GRIP domains. The module is bifurcated by the α2 helix dividing two distinct regulatory sites: Na+ and the inhibitory peptide. Removal of the inhibitory peptide perturbs the Na+ site via the α2 helix highlighting the critical role of the α2 helix in regulating ENaC function.
Frizzleds (Fzd) are the primary receptors for Wnt morphogens, which are essential regulators of stem cell biology, yet the structural basis of Wnt signaling through Fzd remains poorly understood. Here we report the structure of an unliganded human Fzd5 determined by single-particle cryo-EM at 3.7 Å resolution, with the aid of an antibody chaperone acting as a fiducial marker. We also analyzed the topology of low-resolution XWnt8/Fzd5 complex particles, which revealed extreme flexibility between the Wnt/Fzd-CRD and the Fzd-TM regions. Analysis of Wnt/β-catenin signaling in response to Wnt3a versus a 'surrogate agonist' that cross-links Fzd to LRP6, revealed identical structure-activity relationships. Thus, canonical Wnt/β-catenin signaling appears to be principally reliant on ligand-induced Fzd/LRP6 heterodimerization, versus the allosteric mechanisms seen in structurally analogous class A G protein-coupled receptors, and Smoothened. These findings deepen our mechanistic understanding of Wnt signal transduction, and have implications for harnessing Wnt agonism in regenerative medicine.