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Structures of the signal recognition particle receptor from the archaeon Pyrococcus furiosus: implications for the targeting step at the membrane.

  • Author(s): Egea, Pascal F
  • Tsuruta, Hiro
  • de Leon, Gladys P
  • Napetschnig, Johanna
  • Walter, Peter
  • Stroud, Robert M
  • et al.
Abstract

In all organisms, a ribonucleoprotein called the signal recognition particle (SRP) and its receptor (SR) target nascent proteins from the ribosome to the translocon for secretion or membrane insertion. We present the first X-ray structures of an archeal FtsY, the receptor from the hyper-thermophile Pyrococcus furiosus (Pfu), in its free and GDP*magnesium-bound forms. The highly charged N-terminal domain of Pfu-FtsY is distinguished by a long N-terminal helix. The basic charges on the surface of this helix are likely to regulate interactions at the membrane. A peripheral GDP bound near a regulatory motif could indicate a site of interaction between the receptor and ribosomal or SRP RNAs. Small angle X-ray scattering and analytical ultracentrifugation indicate that the crystal structure of Pfu-FtsY correlates well with the average conformation in solution. Based on previous structures of two sub-complexes, we propose a model of the core of archeal and eukaryotic SRP*SR targeting complexes.

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