Index of content:
Volume 4, Issue 4, July 2017
- ULTRAFAST STRUCTURAL DYNAMICS–A TRIBUTE TO AHMED H. ZEWAIL
A comparison of the innate flexibilities of six chains in F1-ATPase with identical secondary and tertiary folds; 3 active enzymes and 3 structural proteins4(2017); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4967226View Description Hide Description
The α and β subunits comprising the hexameric assembly of F1-ATPase share a high degree of structural identity, though low primary identity. Each subunit binds nucleotide in similar pockets, yet only β subunits are catalytically active. Why? We re-examine their internal symmetry axes and observe interesting differences. Dividing each chain into an N-terminal head region, a C-terminal foot region, and a central torso, we observe (1) that while the foot and head regions in all chains obtain high and similar mobility, the torsos obtain different mobility profiles, with the β subunits exhibiting a higher motility compared to the α subunits, a trend supported by the crystallographic B-factors. The β subunits have greater torso mobility by having fewer distributed, nonlocal packing interactions providing a spacious and soft connectivity and offsetting the resultant softness with local stiffness elements, including an additional β sheet. (2) A loop near the nucleotide binding-domain of the β subunits, absent in the α subunits, swings to create a large variation in the occlusion of the nucleotide binding region. (3) A combination of the softest three eigenmodes significantly reduces the root mean square difference between the open and closed conformations of the β subunits. (4) Comparisons of computed and observed crystallographic B-factors suggest a suppression of a particular symmetry axis in an α subunit. (5) Unexpectedly, the soft intra-monomer oscillations pertain to distortions that do not create inter-monomer steric clashes in the assembly, suggesting that structural optimization of the assembly evolved at all levels of complexity.