Retinal dynamics underlie its switch from inverse agonist to agonist during rhodopsin activation.
ABSTRACT: X-ray and magnetic resonance approaches, though central to studies of G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR)-mediated signaling, cannot address GPCR protein dynamics or plasticity. Here we show that solid-state (2)H NMR relaxation elucidates picosecond-to-nanosecond-timescale motions of the retinal ligand that influence larger-scale functional dynamics of rhodopsin in membranes. We propose a multiscale activation mechanism whereby retinal initiates collective helix fluctuations in the meta I-meta II equilibrium on the microsecond-to-millisecond timescale.
Project description:Rhodopsin is a well-characterized structural model of a G protein-coupled receptor. Photoisomerization of the covalently bound retinal triggers activation. Surprisingly, the x-ray crystal structure of the active Meta-II state has a 180° rotation about the long-axis of the retinal polyene chain. Unbiased microsecond-timescale all-atom molecular dynamics simulations show that the retinal cofactor can flip back to the orientation observed in the inactive state of rhodopsin under conditions favoring the Meta-I state. Our results provide, to our knowledge, the first evidence from molecular dynamics simulations showing how rotation of the retinal ligand within its binding pocket can occur in the activation mechanism of rhodopsin.
Project description:Stem-loop II of U1 snRNA and Stem-loop IV of U2 snRNA typically have 10 or 11 nucleotides in their loops. The fluorescent nucleobase 2-aminopurine was used as a substitute for the adenines in each loop to probe the local and global structures and dynamics of these unusually long loops. Using steady-state and time-resolved fluorescence, we find that, while the bases in the loops are stacked, they are able to undergo significant local motion on the picosecond/nanosecond timescale. In addition, the loops have a global conformational change at low temperatures that occurs on the microsecond timescale, as determined using laser T-jump experiments. Nucleobase and loop motions are present at temperatures far below the melting temperature of the hairpin stem, which may facilitate the conformational change required for specific protein binding to these RNA loops.
Project description:Porphyrin-based photosynthetic reaction centre (PRC) mimics, ZnPQ-Q2HP-C60 and MP2Q-Q2HP-C60 (M = Zn or 2H), designed to have a similar special-pair electron donor and similar charge-separation distances, redox processes and photochemical reaction rates to those in the natural PRC from purple bacteria, have been synthesised and extensive photochemical studies performed. Mechanisms of electron-transfer reactions are fully investigated using femtosecond and nanosecond transient absorption spectroscopy. In benzonitrile, all models show picosecond-timescale charge-separations and the final singlet charge-separations with the microsecond-timescale. The established lifetimes are long compared to other processes in organic solar cells or other organic light harvesting systems. These rigid, synthetically flexible molecules provide the closest mimics to the natural PRC so far synthesised and present a future direction for the design of light harvesters with controllable absorption, redox, and kinetics properties.
Project description:Cadherin-mediated cell adhesion is achieved through dimerization of cadherin N-terminal extracellular (EC1) domains presented from apposed cells. The dimer state is formed by exchange of N-terminal beta strands and insertion of conserved tryptophan indole side chains from one monomer into hydrophobic acceptor pockets of the partner molecule. The present work characterizes individual monomer and dimer states and the monomer-dimer equilibrium of the mouse Type II cadherin-8 EC1 domain using NMR spectroscopy. Limited picosecond-to-nanosecond timescale dynamics of the tryptophan indole moieties for both monomer and dimer states are consistent with well-ordered packing of the N-terminal beta strands intramolecularly and intermolecularly, respectively. However, pronounced microsecond-to-millisecond timescale dynamics of the side chains are observed for the monomer but not the dimer state, suggesting that monomers transiently sample configurations in which the indole moieties are exposed. The results suggest possible kinetic mechanisms for EC1 dimerization.
Project description:We used neutron-scattering experiments to probe the conformational dynamics of the light, oxygen, voltage (LOV) photoreceptor PpSB1-LOV from Pseudomonas putida in both the dark and light states. Global protein diffusion and internal macromolecular dynamics were measured using incoherent neutron time-of-flight and backscattering spectroscopy on the picosecond to nanosecond timescales. Global protein diffusion of PpSB1-LOV is not influenced by photoactivation. Observation-time-dependent global diffusion coefficients were found, which converge on the nanosecond timescale toward diffusion coefficients determined by dynamic light scattering. Mean-square displacements of localized internal motions and effective force constants, <k'>, describing the resilience of the proteins were determined on the respective timescales. Photoactivation significantly modifies the flexibility and the resilience of PpSB1-LOV. On the fast, picosecond timescale, small changes in the mean-square displacement and <k'> are observed, which are enhanced on the slower, nanosecond timescale. Photoactivation results in a slightly larger resilience of the photoreceptor on the fast, picosecond timescale, whereas in the nanosecond range, a significantly less resilient structure of the light-state protein is observed. For a residue-resolved interpretation of the experimental neutron-scattering data, we analyzed molecular dynamics simulations of the PpSB1-LOV X-ray structure. Based on these data, it is tempting to speculate that light-induced changes in the protein result in altered side-chain mobility mostly for residues on the protruding J? helix and on the LOV-LOV dimer interface. Our results provide strong experimental evidence that side-chain dynamics play a crucial role in photoactivation and signaling of PpSB1-LOV via modulation of conformational entropy.
Project description:It is now widely recognized that dynamics are important to consider for understanding allosteric protein function. However, dynamics occur over a wide range of timescales, and how these different motions relate to one another is not well understood. Here, we report an NMR relaxation study of dynamics over multiple timescales at both backbone and side-chain sites upon an allosteric response to phosphorylation. The response regulator, Escherichia coli CheY, allosterically responds to phosphorylation with a change in dynamics on both the microsecond-to-millisecond (?s-ms) timescale and the picosecond-to-nanosecond (ps-ns) timescale. We observe an apparent decrease and redistribution of ?s-ms dynamics upon phosphorylation (and accompanying Mg(2+) saturation) of CheY. Additionally, methyl groups with the largest changes in ps-ns dynamics localize to the regions of conformational change measured by ?s-ms dynamics. The limited spread of changes in ps-ns dynamics suggests a distinct relationship between motions on the ?s-ms and ps-ns timescales in CheY. The allosteric mechanism utilized by CheY highlights the diversity of roles dynamics play in protein function.
Project description:Light activation of the visual G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) rhodopsin leads to significant structural fluctuations of the protein embedded within the membrane yielding the activation of cognate G-protein (transducin), which initiates biological signaling. Here, we report a quasi-elastic neutron scattering study of the activation of rhodopsin as a GPCR prototype. Our results reveal a broadly distributed relaxation of hydrogen atom dynamics of rhodopsin on a picosecond-nanosecond time scale, crucial for protein function, as only observed for globular proteins previously. Interestingly, the results suggest significant differences in the intrinsic protein dynamics of the dark-state rhodopsin versus the ligand-free apoprotein, opsin. These differences can be attributed to the influence of the covalently bound retinal ligand. Furthermore, an idea of the generic free-energy landscape is used to explain the GPCR dynamics of ligand-binding and ligand-free protein conformations, which can be further applied to other GPCR systems.
Project description:G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) comprise the largest family of membrane proteins in the human genome and mediate cellular responses to an extensive array of hormones, neurotransmitters and sensory stimuli. Although some crystal structures have been determined for GPCRs, most are for modified forms, showing little basal activity, and are bound to inverse agonists or antagonists. Consequently, these structures correspond to receptors in their inactive states. The visual pigment rhodopsin is the only GPCR for which structures exist that are thought to be in the active state. However, these structures are for the apoprotein, or opsin, form that does not contain the agonist all-trans retinal. Here we present a crystal structure at a resolution of 3 Å for the constitutively active rhodopsin mutant Glu 113 Gln in complex with a peptide derived from the carboxy terminus of the ?-subunit of the G protein transducin. The protein is in an active conformation that retains retinal in the binding pocket after photoactivation. Comparison with the structure of ground-state rhodopsin suggests how translocation of the retinal ?-ionone ring leads to a rotation of transmembrane helix 6, which is the critical conformational change on activation. A key feature of this conformational change is a reorganization of water-mediated hydrogen-bond networks between the retinal-binding pocket and three of the most conserved GPCR sequence motifs. We thus show how an agonist ligand can activate its GPCR.
Project description:Inteins mediate protein splicing, which has found many applications in biotechnology and protein engineering. A single valine-to-leucine mutation (V67L) can globally enhance splicing and related cleavage reactions in minimized Mycobacterium tuberculosis RecA inteins. However, V67L mutation causes little change in crystal structures. To test whether protein dynamics contribute to activity enhancement in the V67L mutation, we have studied the conformations and dynamics of the minimized and engineered intein DeltaDeltaIhh-V67CM and a single V67L mutant, DeltaDeltaIhh-L67CM, by solution NMR. Chemical shift perturbations established that the V67L mutation causes global changes, including changes at the N-terminus and C-terminus of the intein, which are active sites for protein splicing. The single V67L mutation significantly slows hydrogen-exchange rates globally, indicating a shift to more stable conformations and reduction in ensemble distribution. Whereas the V67L mutation causes little change for motions on the picosecond-to-nanosecond timescale, motions on the microsecond-to-millisecond timescale affect a region involving the conserved F-block histidine and C-terminal asparagine, which are residues important for C-terminal cleavage. The V67L mutation is proposed to activate splicing by reducing the ensemble distribution of the intein structure and by modifying the active sites.