Long-range conformational effects of proteolytic removal of the last three residues of actin.
ABSTRACT: Truncated derivatives of actin devoid of either the last two (actin-2C) or three residues (actin-3C) were used to study the role of the C-terminal segment in the polymerization of actin. The monomer critical concentration and polymerization rate increased in the order: intact actin < actin-2C < actin-3C. Conversely, the rate of hydrolysis of actin-bound ATP during spontaneous polymerization of Mg-actin decreased in the same order, so that, for actin-3C, the ATP hydrolysis significantly lagged behind the polymer growth. Probing the conformation of the nucleotide site in the monomer form by measuring the rates of the bound nucleotide exchange revealed a similar change upon removal of either the two or three residues from the C-terminus. The C-terminal truncation also resulted in a slight decrease in the rate of subtilisin cleavage of monomeric actin within the DNAse-I binding loop, whereas in F-actin subunits the susceptibility of this and of another site within this loop, specifically cleaved by a proteinase from Escherichia coli A2 strain, gradually increased upon sequential removal of the two and of the third residue from the C-terminus. From these and other observations made in this work it has been concluded that perturbation of the C-terminal structure in monomeric actin is transmitted to the cleft, where nucleotide and bivalent cation are bound, and to the DNAse-I binding loop on the top of subdomain 2. Further changes at these sites, observed on the polymer level, seem to result from elimination of the intersubunit contact between the C-terminal residues and the DNAse-I binding loop. It is suggested that formation of this contact plays an essential role in regulating the hydrolysis of actin-bound ATP associated with the polymerization process.
Project description:We used all-atom molecular dynamics simulations to investigate the structure and properties of the actin filament, starting with either the recent Oda model or the older Holmes model. Simulations of monomeric and polymerized actin show that polymerization changes the nucleotide-binding cleft, bringing together the Q137 side chain and bound ATP in a way that may enhance the ATP hydrolysis rate in the filament. Simulations with different bound nucleotides and conformations of the DNase I binding loop show that the persistence length of the filament depends only on loop conformation. Computational modeling reveals how bound phalloidin stiffens actin filaments and inhibits the release of gamma-phosphate from ADP-P(i) actin.
Project description:We used cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) to reconstruct actin filaments with bound AMPPNP (β,γ-imidoadenosine 5'-triphosphate, an ATP analog, resolution 3.1 Å), ADP-Pi (ADP with inorganic phosphate, resolution 3.1 Å), or ADP (resolution 3.6 Å). Subunits in the three filaments have similar backbone conformations, so assembly rather than ATP hydrolysis or phosphate dissociation is responsible for their flattened conformation in filaments. Polymerization increases the rate of ATP hydrolysis by changing the positions of the side chains of Q137 and H161 in the active site. Flattening during assembly also promotes interactions along both the long-pitch and short-pitch helices. In particular, conformational changes in subdomain 3 open up multiple favorable interactions with the DNase-I binding loop in subdomain 2 of the adjacent subunit. Subunits at the barbed end of the filament are likely to be in this favorable conformation, while monomers are not. This difference explains why filaments grow faster at the barbed end than the pointed end. When phosphate dissociates from ADP-Pi-actin through a backdoor channel, the conformation of the C terminus changes so it distorts the DNase binding loop, which allows cofilin binding, and a network of interactions among S14, H73, G74, N111, R177, and G158 rearranges to open the phosphate release site.
Project description:Adenosine 5'-triphosphate or ATP is the primary energy source within the cell, releasing its energy via hydrolysis into adenosine 5'-diphosphate or ADP. Actin is an important ATPase involved in many aspects of cellular function, and the binding and hydrolysis of ATP regulates its polymerization into actin filaments as well as its interaction with a host of actin-associated proteins. Here we study the dynamics of monomeric actin in ATP, ADP-Pi, and ADP states via molecular dynamics simulations. As observed in some crystal structures we see that the DNase-I loop is an alpha-helix in the ADP state but forms an unstructured coil domain in the ADP-Pi and ATP states. We also find that this secondary structure change is reversible, and by mimicking nucleotide exchange we can observe the transition between the helical and coil states. Apart from the DNase-I loop, we also see several key structural differences in the nucleotide binding cleft as well as in the hydrophobic cleft between subdomains 1 and 3 where WH2-containing proteins have been shown to interact. These differences provide a structural basis for understanding the observed differences between the various nucleotide states of actin and provide some insight into how ATP regulates the interaction of actin with itself and other proteins.
Project description:Cyclase-associated protein (CAP) is a conserved actin-regulatory protein that functions together with actin depolymerizing factor (ADF)/cofilin to enhance actin filament dynamics. CAP has multiple functional domains, and the function to regulate actin monomers is carried out by its C-terminal half containing a Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome protein homology 2 (WH2) domain, a CAP and X-linked retinitis pigmentosa 2 (CARP) domain, and a dimerization motif. WH2 and CARP are implicated in binding to actin monomers and important for enhancing filament turnover. However, the role of the dimerization motif is unknown. Here, we investigated the function of the dimerization motif of CAS-2, a CAP isoform in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, in actin monomer regulation. CAS-2 promotes ATP-dependent recycling of ADF/cofilin-bound actin monomers for polymerization by enhancing exchange of actin-bound nucleotides. The C-terminal half of CAS-2 (CAS-2C) has nearly as strong activity as full-length CAS-2. Maltose-binding protein (MBP)-tagged CAS-2C is a dimer. However, MBP-CAS-2C with a truncation of either one or two C-terminal ?-strands is monomeric. Truncations of the dimerization motif in MBP-CAS-2C nearly completely abolish its activity to sequester actin monomers from polymerization and enhance nucleotide exchange on actin monomers. As a result, these CAS-2C variants, also in the context of full-length CAS-2, fail to compete with ADF/cofilin to release actin monomers for polymerization. CAS-2C variants lacking the dimerization motif exhibit enhanced binding to actin filaments, which is mediated by WH2. Taken together, these results suggest that the evolutionarily conserved dimerization motif of CAP is essential for its C-terminal region to exert the actin monomer-specific regulatory function.
Project description:The structural and mechanical properties of monomeric actin (G-actin), the trimer nucleus, and actin filaments (F-actins) are determined as a function of the conformation of the DNase I-binding loop (DB loop) by using all-atom molecular dynamics simulations and coarse-grained (CG) analysis. Recent x-ray structures of ADP-bound G-actin (G-ADP) by Otterbein et al. [Otterbein, L. R., Graceffa, P. & Dominguez, R. (2001) Science 293, 708-711] and ATP-bound G-actin (G-ATP) by Graceffa and Dominguez [Graceffa, P. & Dominguez, R. (2003) J. Biol. Chem. 278, 34172-34180] indicate that the DB loop of actin does not have a well defined secondary structure in the ATP state but folds into an alpha-helix in the ADP state. MD simulations and CG analysis indicate that such a helical DB loop significantly weakens the intermonomer interactions of actin assemblies and thus leads to a wider, shorter, and more disordered filament. The computed persistence lengths of F-actin composed of G-ATP (16 microm) and of G-ADP (8.5 microm) agree well with the experimental values for the two states. Therefore, the loop-to-helix transition of the DB loop may be one of the factors that lead to the changes in structural and mechanical properties of F-actin after ATP hydrolysis. This result may provide a direct connection between the conformational changes of an actin monomer and the structural and mechanical properties of the cytoskeleton. The information provided by MD simulations also helps to understand the possible origin of the special features of actin dynamics.
Project description:Plasmodium actins form very short filaments and have a noncanonical link between ATP hydrolysis and polymerization. Long filaments are detrimental to the parasites, but the structural factors constraining Plasmodium microfilament lengths have remained unknown. Using high-resolution crystallography, we show that magnesium binding causes a slight flattening of the Plasmodium actin I monomer, and subsequent phosphate release results in a more twisted conformation. Thus, the Mg-bound monomer is closer in conformation to filamentous (F) actin than the Ca form, and this likely facilitates polymerization. A coordinated potassium ion resides in the active site during hydrolysis and leaves together with the phosphate, a process governed by the position of the Arg178/Asp180-containing A loop. Asp180 interacts with either Lys270 or His74, depending on the protonation state of the histidine, while Arg178 links the inner and outer domains (ID and OD) of the actin protomer. Hence, the A loop acts as a switch between stable and unstable filament conformations, the latter leading to fragmentation. Our data provide a comprehensive model for polymerization, ATP hydrolysis and phosphate release, and fragmentation of parasite microfilaments. Similar mechanisms may well exist in canonical actins, although fragmentation is much less favorable due to several subtle sequence differences as well as the methylation of His73, which is absent on the corresponding His74 in Plasmodium actin I.
Project description:Homogeneous preparations of actin devoid of the three C-terminal residues were obtained by digestion of G-actin with trypsin after blocking proteolysis at other sites by substitution of Mg2+ for the tightly bound Ca2+. Removal of the C-terminal residues resulted in the following: an enhancement of the Mg(2+)-induced hydrolysis of ATP in low-ionic-strength solutions of actin; an increase in the critical concentration for polymerization; a decrease in the initial rate of polymerization; and an enhancement of the steady-state exchange of subunits in the polymer. Electron microscopy indicated an increased fragility of the filaments assembled from truncated actin. The results suggest that removal of the C-terminal residues increases the rate constants for monomer dissociation from the polymer ends and from the oligomeric species.
Project description:Conformational changes induced by ATP hydrolysis on actin are involved in the regulation of complex actin networks. Previous structural and biochemical data implicate the DNase I binding loop (D-loop) of actin in such nucleotide-dependent changes. Here, we investigated the structural and conformational states of the D-loop (in solution) using cysteine scanning mutagenesis and site-directed labeling. The reactivity of D-loop cysteine mutants toward acrylodan and the mobility of spin labels on these mutants do not show patterns of an ?-helical structure in monomeric and filamentous actin, irrespective of the bound nucleotide. Upon transition from monomeric to filamentous actin, acrylodan emission spectra and electron paramagnetic resonance line shapes of labeled mutants are blue-shifted and more immobilized, respectively, with the central residues (residues 43-47) showing the most drastic changes. Moreover, complex electron paramagnetic resonance line shapes of spin-labeled mutants suggest several conformational states of the D-loop. Together with a new (to our knowledge) actin crystal structure that reveals the D-loop in a unique hairpin conformation, our data suggest that the D-loop equilibrates in F-actin among different conformational states irrespective of the nucleotide state of actin.
Project description:Polymerization induces hydrolysis of ATP bound to actin, followed by ?-phosphate release, which helps advance the disassembly of actin filaments into ADP-G-actin. Mechanical understanding of this correlation between actin assembly and ATP hydrolysis has been an object of intensive studies in biochemistry and structural biology for many decades. Although actin polymerization and depolymerization occur only at either the barbed or pointed ends and the kinetic and equilibrium properties are substantially different from each other, characterizing their properties is difficult to do by bulk assays, as these assays report the average of all actin filaments in solution and are therefore not able to discern the properties of individual actin filaments. Biochemical studies of actin polymerization and hydrolysis were hampered by these inherent properties of actin filaments. Total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) microscopy overcame this problem by observing single actin filaments. With TIRF, we now know not only that each end has distinct properties, but also that the rate of ?-phosphate release is much faster from the terminals than from the interior of actin filaments. The rate of ?-phosphate release from actin filament ends is even more accelerated when latrunculin A is bound. These findings highlight the importance of resolving structural differences between actin molecules in the interior of the filament and those at either filament end. This review provides a history of observing actin filaments under light microscopy, an overview of dynamic properties of ATP hydrolysis at the end of actin filament, and structural views of ?-phosphate release.
Project description:The structure of the actin filament is known at a resolution that has allowed the architecture of protein components to be unambiguously assigned. However, fully understanding the chemistry of the system requires higher resolution to identify the ions and water molecules involved in polymerization and ATP hydrolysis. Here, we find experimental evidence for the association of cations with the surfaces of G-actin in a 2.0-Å resolution X-ray structure of actin bound to a Cordon-Bleu WH2 motif and in previously determined high-resolution X-ray structures. Three of four reoccurring divalent cation sites were stable during molecular dynamics (MD) simulations of the filament, suggesting that these sites may play a functional role in stabilizing the filament. We modeled the water coordination at the ATP-bound Mg2+, which also proved to be stable during the MD simulations. Using this model of the filament with a hydrated ATP-bound Mg2+, we compared the cumulative probability of an activated hydrolytic water molecule approaching the ?-phosphorous of ATP, in comparison with G-actin, in the MD simulations. The cumulative probability increased in F-actin in line with the activation of actin's ATPase activity on polymerization. However, inclusion of the cations in the filament lowered cumulative probability, suggesting the rate of hydrolysis may be linked to filament flexibility. Together, these data extend the possible roles of Mg2+ in polymerization and the mechanism of polymerization-induced activation of actin's ATPase activity.