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N domain of the Lon AAA+ protease controls assembly and substrate choice.


ABSTRACT: The protein quality control network (pQC) plays critical roles in maintaining protein and cellular homeostasis, especially during stress. Lon is a major pQC AAA+ protease, conserved from bacteria to human mitochondria. It is the principal enzyme that degrades most unfolded or damaged proteins. Degradation by Lon also controls cellular levels of several key regulatory proteins. Recently, our group determined that Escherichia coli Lon, previously thought to be an obligate homo-hexamer, also forms a dodecamer. This larger assembly has decreased ATPase activity and displays substrate-specific alterations in degradation compared with the hexamer. Here we experimentally probe the physical hexamer-hexamer interactions and the biological roles of the Lon dodecamer. Using structure prediction methods coupled with mutagenesis, we identified a key interface and specific residues within the Lon N domain that participates in an intermolecular coiled coil unique to the dodecamer. With this knowledge, we made a Lon variant (LonVQ ) that forms a dodecamer with increased stability, as determined by analytical ultracentrifugation and electron microscopy. Using this altered Lon, we characterize the Lon dodecamer's activities using a panel of substrates. Lon dodecamers are clearly functional, and complement critical lon- phenotypes but also exhibit altered substrate specificity. For example, the small heat shock proteins IbpA and IbpB are only efficiently degraded well by the hexamer. Thus, by elucidating the intermolecular contacts connecting the hexamers, we are starting to illuminate how dodecamer formation versus disassembly can alter Lon function under conditions where controlling specific activities and substrate preferences of this key protease may be advantageous.

SUBMITTER: Brown BL 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC6566560 | BioStudies | 2019-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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