Author(s): Kiser PD, Lorimer GH, Palczewski K
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Abstract GroEL is a bacterial chaperone protein that assembles into a homotetradecameric complex exhibiting D(7) symmetry and utilizes the co-chaperone protein GroES and ATP hydrolysis to assist in the proper folding of a variety of cytosolic proteins. GroEL utilizes two metal cofactors, Mg(2+) and K(+), to bind and hydrolyze ATP. A K(+)-binding site has been proposed to be located next to the nucleotide-binding site, but the available structural data do not firmly support this conclusion. Moreover, more than one functionally significant K(+)-binding site may exist within GroEL. Because K(+) has important and complex effects on GroEL activity and is involved in both positive (intra-ring) and negative (inter-ring) cooperativity for ATP hydrolysis, it is important to determine the exact location of these cation-binding site(s) within GroEL. In this study, the K(+) mimetic Tl(+) was incorporated into GroEL crystals, a moderately redundant 3.94 A resolution X-ray diffraction data set was collected from a single crystal and the strong anomalous scattering signal from the thallium ion was used to identify monovalent cation-binding sites. The results confirmed the previously proposed placement of K(+) next to the nucleotide-binding site and also identified additional binding sites that may be important for GroEL function and cooperativity. These findings also demonstrate the general usefulness of Tl(+) for the identification of monovalent cation-binding sites in protein crystal structures, even when the quality and resolution of the diffraction data are relatively low.
This article was published in Acta Crystallogr Sect F Struct Biol Cryst Commun
and referenced in Journal of Physical Chemistry & Biophysics