The way in which multidomain proteins fold has been a puzzling question for decades. Until now, the mechanisms and functions of domain interactions involved in multidomain protein folding have been obscure. Here, we develop structure-based models to investigate the folding and DNA-binding processes of the multidomain Y-family DNA polymerase IV (DPO4). We uncover shifts in folding mechanism among ordered domain-wise folding, backtracking folding, and cooperative folding, modulated by interdomain interactions. These lead to "U-shaped' folding kinetics. We characterize the effects of interdomain flexibility on the promotion of DPO4-DNA (un)binding, which probably contributes to the ability of DPO4 to bypass DNA lesions, a known biological role of Y-family polymerases. We suggest that the native topology of DPO4 leads to a trade-off between fast, stable folding and tight functional DNA binding. Our approach provides an effective way to quantitatively correlate the roles of protein interactions in conformational dynamics at the multidomain level.
- Zucai Suo
- Jin Wang
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Yibing Shan, DE Shaw Research, United States
© 2020, Chu et al.
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