Tertiary and quaternary conformational changes in aspartate transcarbamylase: a normal mode study

Abstract : Aspartate transcarbamylase (ATCase) initiates the pyrimidine biosynthetic pathway in Escherichia coli. Binding of aspartate to this allosteric enzyme induces a cooperative transition between the tensed (T) and relaxed (R) states of the enzyme which involves large quaternary and tertiary rearrangements. The mechanisms of the transmission of the regulatory signal to the active site (60 A away) and that of the cooperative transition are not known in detail, although a large number of single, double, and triple site-specific mutants and chimeric forms of ATCase have been obtained and kinetically characterized. A previous analysis of the very low-frequency normal modes of both the T and R state structures of ATCase identified some of the large-amplitude motions mediating the intertrimer elongation and rotation that occur during the cooperative transition (Thomas et al., J. Mol. Biol. 257:1070-1087, 1996; Thomas et al., J. Mol. Biol. 261:490-506, 1996). As a complement to that study, the deformation of the quaternary and tertiary structure of ATCase by normal modes below 5 cm(-1) is investigated in this article. The ability of the modes to reproduce the domain motions occurring during the transition is analyzed, with special attention to the interdomain closure in the catalytic chain, which has been shown to be critical for homotropic cooperativity. The calculations show a coupling between the quaternary motions and more localized motions involving specific residues. The particular dynamic behavior of these residues is examined in the light of biochemical results to obtain insights into their role in the transmission of the allosteric signal.
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D. Thomas, Konrad Hinsen, Martin Field, David Perahia, Aline Thomas. Tertiary and quaternary conformational changes in aspartate transcarbamylase: a normal mode study. Proteins: Structure, Function, and Genetics, Wiley, 1999, 34 (1), pp.96-112. ⟨10.1002/(SICI)1097-0134(19990101)34:1<96::AID-PROT8>3.0.CO;2-0⟩. ⟨hal-02159763⟩

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