In-silico and in-vitro studies have made progress in understanding protein-protein complexes formation; however, the molecular mechanisms for their dissociation are unclear. Protein-protein complexes, lasting from microseconds to years, often involve induced-fit, challenging computational or kinetic analysis. Charybdotoxin (CTX), a peptide from the Leiurus scorpion venom, blocks voltage-gated K+-channels in a unique example of binding/unbinding simplicity. CTX plugs the external mouth of K+-channels pore, stopping K+-ion conduction, without inducing conformational changes. Conflicting with a tight binding, we show that external permeant ions enhance CTX-dissociation, implying a path connecting the pore, in the toxin-bound channel, with the external solution. This sensitivity is explained if CTX wobbles between several bound conformations, producing transient events that restore the electrical and ionic trans-pore gradients. Wobbling may originate from a network of contacts in the interaction interface that are in dynamic stochastic equilibria. These partially-bound intermediates could lead to distinct, and potentially manipulable, dissociation pathways.
Data used for Figures 2 to 7 is available in dryad.org
Data from: Trans-toxin ion-sensitivity of charybdotoxin-blocked potassium-channels reveals unbinding transitional statesDryad Digital Repository, doi:10.5061/dryad.0p77qk4.
- Hans Moldenhauer
- Ignacio Díaz-Franulic
- Horacio Poblete
- Horacio Poblete
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Leon D Islas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico
© 2019, Moldenhauer 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.
Rotaviruses transcribe eleven distinct RNAs that must be co-packaged prior to their replication to make an infectious virion. During infection, nontranslating rotavirus transcripts accumulate in cytoplasmic protein-RNA granules known as viroplasms that support segmented genome assembly and replication via a poorly understood mechanism. Here we analysed the RV transcriptome by combining DNA-barcoded smFISH of rotavirus-infected cells. Rotavirus RNA stoichiometry in viroplasms appears to be distinct from the cytoplasmic transcript distribution, with the largest transcript being the most enriched in viroplasms, suggesting a selective RNA enrichment mechanism. While all eleven types of transcripts accumulate in viroplasms, their stoichiometry significantly varied between individual viroplasms. Accumulation of transcripts requires the presence of 3' untranslated terminal regions and viroplasmic localisation of the viral polymerase VP1, consistent with the observed lack of polyadenylated transcripts in viroplasms. Our observations reveal similarities between viroplasms and other cytoplasmic RNP granules and identify viroplasmic proteins as drivers of viral RNA assembly during viroplasm formation.
The large intracellular C-terminus of the pro-inflammatory P2X7 ion channel receptor (P2X7R) is associated with diverse P2X7R-specific functions. Cryo-EM structures of the closed and ATP-bound open full-length P2X7R recently identified a membrane-associated anchoring domain, an open-state stabilizing “cap” domain, and a globular “ballast domain” containing GTP/GDP and dinuclear Zn2+-binding sites with unknown functions. To investigate protein dynamics during channel activation, we improved incorporation of the environment-sensitive fluorescent unnatural amino acid L-3-(6-acetylnaphthalen-2-ylamino)–2-aminopropanoic acid (ANAP) into Xenopus laevis oocyte-expressed P2X7Rs and performed voltage clamp fluorometry. While we confirmed predicted conformational changes within the extracellular and the transmembrane domains, only 3 out of 41 mutants containing ANAP in the C-terminal domain resulted in ATP-induced fluorescence changes. We conclude that the ballast domain functions rather independently from the extracellular ATP binding domain and might require activation by additional ligands and/or protein interactions. Novel tools to study these are presented.