Fingerloop activates cargo delivery and unloading during cotranslational protein targeting.
ABSTRACT: During cotranslational protein targeting by the signal recognition particle (SRP), information about signal sequence binding in the SRP's M domain must be effectively communicated to its GTPase domain to turn on its interaction with the SRP receptor (SR) and thus deliver the cargo proteins to the membrane. A universally conserved "fingerloop" lines the signal sequence-binding groove of SRP; the precise role of this fingerloop in protein targeting has remained elusive. In this study, we show that the fingerloop plays important roles in SRP function by helping to induce the SRP into a more active conformation that facilitates multiple steps in the pathway, including efficient recruitment of SR, GTPase activation in the SRP•SR complex, and most significantly, the unloading of cargo onto the target membrane. On the basis of these results and recent structural work, we propose that the fingerloop is the first structural element to detect signal sequence binding; this information is relayed to the linker connecting the SRP's M and G domains and thus activates the SRP and SR for carrying out downstream steps in the pathway.
Project description:Efficient and accurate protein localization is essential to cells and requires protein-targeting machineries to both effectively capture the cargo in the cytosol and productively unload the cargo at the membrane. To understand how these challenges are met, we followed the interaction of translating ribosomes during their targeting by the signal recognition particle (SRP) using a site-specific fluorescent probe in the nascent protein. We show that initial recruitment of SRP receptor (SR) selectively enhances the affinity of SRP for correct cargos, thus committing SRP-dependent substrates to the pathway. Real-time measurement of cargo transfer from the targeting to translocation machinery revealed multiple factors that drive this event, including GTPase rearrangement in the SRP-SR complex, stepwise displacement of SRP from the ribosome and signal sequence by SecYEG, and elongation of the nascent polypeptide. Our results elucidate how active and sequential regulation of the SRP-cargo interaction drives efficient and faithful protein targeting.
Project description:The "GTPase switch" paradigm, in which a GTPase switches between an active, GTP-bound state and an inactive, GDP-bound state through the recruitment of nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs) or GTPase activating proteins (GAPs), has been used to interpret the regulatory mechanism of many GTPases. A notable exception to this paradigm is provided by two GTPases in the signal recognition particle (SRP) and the SRP receptor (SR) that control the co-translational targeting of proteins to cellular membranes. Instead of the classical "GTPase switch," both the SRP and SR undergo a series of discrete conformational rearrangements during their interaction with one another, culminating in their reciprocal GTPase activation. Here, we show that this series of rearrangements during SRP-SR binding and activation provide important control points to drive and regulate protein targeting. Using real-time fluorescence, we showed that the cargo for SRP--ribosomes translating nascent polypeptides with signal sequences--accelerates SRP.SR complex assembly over 100-fold, thereby driving rapid delivery of cargo to the membrane. A series of subsequent rearrangements in the SRP x SR GTPase complex provide important driving forces to unload the cargo during late stages of protein targeting. Further, the cargo delays GTPase activation in the SRP.SR complex by 8-12 fold, creating an important time window that could further improve the efficiency and fidelity of protein targeting. Thus, the SRP and SR GTPases, without recruiting external regulatory factors, constitute a self-sufficient system that provides exquisite spatial and temporal control of a complex cellular process.
Project description:The universally conserved signal recognition particle (SRP) and SRP receptor (SR) mediate the cotranslational targeting of proteins to cellular membranes. In contrast, a unique chloroplast SRP in green plants is primarily dedicated to the post-translational targeting of light harvesting chlorophyll a/b binding (LHC) proteins. In both pathways, dimerization and activation between the SRP and SR GTPases mediate the delivery of cargo; whether and how the GTPase cycle in each system adapts to its distinct substrate proteins were unclear. Here, we show that interactions at the active site essential for GTPase activation in the chloroplast SRP and SR play key roles in the assembly of the GTPase complex. In contrast to their cytosolic homologues, GTPase activation in the chloroplast SRP-SR complex contributes marginally to the targeting of LHC proteins. These results demonstrate that complex assembly and GTPase activation are highly coupled in the chloroplast SRP and SR and suggest that the chloroplast GTPases may forego the GTPase activation step as a key regulatory point. These features may reflect adaptations of the chloroplast SRP to the delivery of their unique substrate protein.
Project description:Cotranslational targeting of membrane and secretory proteins is mediated by the universally conserved signal recognition particle (SRP). Together with its receptor (SR), SRP mediates the guanine triphosphate (GTP)-dependent delivery of translating ribosomes bearing signal sequences to translocons on the target membrane. Here, we present the crystal structure of the SRP:SR complex at 3.9 angstrom resolution and biochemical data revealing that the activated SRP:SR guanine triphosphatase (GTPase) complex binds the distal end of the SRP hairpin RNA where GTP hydrolysis is stimulated. Combined with previous findings, these results suggest that the SRP:SR GTPase complex initially assembles at the tetraloop end of the SRP RNA and then relocalizes to the opposite end of the RNA. This rearrangement provides a mechanism for coupling GTP hydrolysis to the handover of cargo to the translocon.
Project description:During cotranslational protein targeting, two guanosine triphosphatase (GTPase) in the signal recognition particle (SRP) and its receptor (SR) form a unique complex in which hydrolyses of both guanosine triphosphates (GTP) are activated in a shared active site. It was thought that GTP hydrolysis drives the recycling of SRP and SR, but is not crucial for protein targeting. Here, we examined the translocation efficiency of mutant GTPases that block the interaction between SRP and SR at specific stages. Surprisingly, mutants that allow SRP-SR complex assembly but block GTPase activation severely compromise protein translocation. These mutations map to the highly conserved insertion box domain loops that rearrange upon complex formation to form multiple catalytic interactions with the two GTPs. Thus, although GTP hydrolysis is not required, the molecular rearrangements that lead to GTPase activation are essential for protein targeting. Most importantly, our results show that an elaborate rearrangement within the SRP-SR GTPase complex is required to drive the unloading and initiate translocation of cargo proteins.
Project description:Signal recognition particle (SRP) and its receptor (SR) comprise a highly conserved cellular machine that cotranslationally targets proteins to a protein-conducting channel, the bacterial SecYEG or eukaryotic Sec61p complex, at the target membrane. Whether SecYEG is a passive recipient of the translating ribosome or actively regulates this targeting machinery remains unclear. Here we show that SecYEG drives conformational changes in the cargo-loaded SRP-SR targeting complex that activate it for GTP hydrolysis and for handover of the translating ribosome. These results provide the first evidence that SecYEG actively drives the efficient delivery and unloading of translating ribosomes at the target membrane.
Project description:The signal recognition particle (SRP) recognizes polypeptide chains bearing a signal sequence as they emerge from the ribosome, and then binds its membrane-associated receptor (SR), thereby delivering the ribosome-nascent chain complex to the endoplasmic reticulum in eukaryotic cells and the plasma membrane in prokaryotic cells. SRP RNA catalytically accelerates the interaction of SRP and SR, which stimulates their guanosine triphosphatase (GTPase) activities, leading to dissociation of the complex. We found that although the catalytic activity of SRP RNA appeared to be constitutive, SRP RNA accelerated complex formation only when SRP was bound to a signal sequence. This crucial control step was obscured because a detergent commonly included in the reaction buffer acted as a signal peptide mimic. Thus, SRP RNA is a molecular switch that renders the SRP-SR GTPase engine responsive to signal peptide recruitment, coupling GTP hydrolysis to productive protein targeting.
Project description:Proper protein localization is essential for all cells. However, the precise mechanism by which high fidelity is achieved is not well understood for any protein-targeting pathway. To address this fundamental question, we investigated the signal recognition particle (SRP) pathway in Escherichia coli, which delivers proteins to the bacterial inner membrane through recognition of signal sequences on cargo proteins. Fidelity was thought to arise from the inability of SRP to bind strongly to incorrect cargos. Using biophysical assays, we found that incorrect cargos were also rejected through a series of checkpoints during subsequent steps of targeting. Thus, high fidelity of substrate selection is achieved through the cumulative effect of multiple checkpoints; this principle may be generally applicable to other pathways involving selective signal recognition.
Project description:The signal recognition particle (SRP)-dependent pathway is essential for correct targeting of proteins to the membrane and subsequent insertion in the membrane or secretion. In Escherichia coli, the SRP and its receptor FtsY bind to ribosome-nascent chain complexes with signal sequences and undergo a series of distinct conformational changes, which ensures accurate timing and fidelity of protein targeting. Initial recruitment of the SRP receptor FtsY to the SRP-RNC complex results in GTP-independent binding of the SRP-FtsY GTPases at the SRP RNA tetraloop. In the presence of GTP, a closed state is adopted by the SRP-FtsY complex. The cryo-EM structure of the closed state reveals an ordered SRP RNA and SRP M domain with a signal sequence-bound. Van der Waals interactions between the finger loop and ribosomal protein L24 lead to a constricted signal sequence-binding pocket possibly preventing premature release of the signal sequence. Conserved M-domain residues contact ribosomal RNA helices 24 and 59. The SRP-FtsY GTPases are detached from the RNA tetraloop and flexible, thus liberating the ribosomal exit site for binding of the translocation machinery.
Project description:In all organisms the Signal Recognition Particle (SRP), binds to signal sequences of proteins destined for secretion or membrane insertion as they emerge from translating ribosomes. In Archaea and Eucarya, the conserved ribonucleoproteic core is composed of two proteins, the accessory protein SRP19, the essential GTPase SRP54, and an evolutionarily conserved and essential SRP RNA. Through the GTP-dependent interaction between the SRP and its cognate receptor SR, ribosomes harboring nascent polypeptidic chains destined for secretion are dynamically transferred to the protein translocation apparatus at the membrane. We present here high-resolution X-ray structures of SRP54 and SRP19, the two RNA binding components forming the core of the signal recognition particle from the hyper-thermophilic archaeon Pyrococcus furiosus (Pfu). The 2.5 A resolution structure of free Pfu-SRP54 is the first showing the complete domain organization of a GDP bound full-length SRP54 subunit. In its ras-like GTPase domain, GDP is found tightly associated with the protein. The flexible linker that separates the GTPase core from the hydrophobic signal sequence binding M domain, adopts a purely alpha-helical structure and acts as an articulated arm allowing the M domain to explore multiple regions as it scans for signal peptides as they emerge from the ribosomal tunnel. This linker is structurally coupled to the GTPase catalytic site and likely to propagate conformational changes occurring in the M domain through the SRP RNA upon signal sequence binding. Two different 1.8 A resolution crystal structures of free Pfu-SRP19 reveal a compact, rigid and well-folded protein even in absence of its obligate SRP RNA partner. Comparison with other SRP19*SRP RNA structures suggests the rearrangement of a disordered loop upon binding with the RNA through a reciprocal induced-fit mechanism and supports the idea that SRP19 acts as a molecular scaffold and a chaperone, assisting the SRP RNA in adopting the conformation required for its optimal interaction with the essential subunit SRP54, and proper assembly of a functional SRP.