The 21-subunit Mediator complex transduces regulatory information from enhancers to promoters, and performs an essential role in the initiation of transcription in all eukaryotes. Structural information on two-thirds of the complex has been limited to coarse subunit mapping onto 2-D images from electron micrographs. We have performed chemical cross-linking and mass spectrometry, and combined the results with information from X-ray crystallography, homology modeling, and cryo-electron microscopy by an integrative modeling approach to determine a 3-D model of the entire Mediator complex. The approach is validated by the use of X-ray crystal structures as internal controls and by consistency with previous results from electron microscopy and yeast two-hybrid screens. The model shows the locations and orientations of all Mediator subunits, as well as subunit interfaces and some secondary structural elements. Segments of 20-40 amino acid residues are placed with an average precision of 20 Å. The model reveals roles of individual subunits in the organization of the complex.
- Irwin Davidson, Institut de Génétique et de Biologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire, France
© 2015, Robinson 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)
Protein-protein interaction specificity is often encoded at the primary sequence level. However, the contributions of individual residues to specificity are usually poorly understood and often obscured by mutational robustness, sequence degeneracy, and epistasis. Using bacterial toxin-antitoxin systems as a model, we screened a combinatorially complete library of antitoxin variants at three key positions against two toxins. This library enabled us to measure the effect of individual substitutions on specificity in hundreds of genetic backgrounds. These distributions allow inferences about the general nature of interface residues in promoting specificity. We find that positive and negative contributions to specificity are neither inherently coupled nor mutually exclusive. Further, a wild-type antitoxin appears optimized for specificity as no substitutions improve discrimination between cognate and non-cognate partners. By comparing crystal structures of paralogous complexes, we provide a rationale for our observations. Collectively, this work provides a generalizable approach to understanding the logic of molecular recognition.
Filoviruses such as Ebola and Marburg virus bud from the host membrane as enveloped virions. This process is achieved by the matrix protein VP40. When expressed alone, VP40 induces budding of filamentous virus-like particles, suggesting that localization to the plasma membrane, oligomerization into a matrix layer, and generation of membrane curvature are intrinsic properties of VP40. There has been no direct information on the structure of VP40 matrix layers within viruses or virus-like particles. We present structures of Ebola and Marburg VP40 matrix layers in intact virus-like particles, and within intact Marburg viruses. VP40 dimers assemble extended chains via C-terminal domain interactions. These chains stack to form 2D matrix lattices below the membrane surface. These lattices form a patchwork assembly across the membrane and suggesting that assembly may begin at multiple points. Our observations define the structure and arrangement of the matrix protein layer that mediates formation of filovirus particles.