Molecular-dynamics simulations of the ATP/apo state of a multidrug ATP-binding cassette transporter provide a structural and mechanistic basis for the asymmetric occluded state

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Journal Article
Biophysical Journal, 2011, 100 (12), pp. 3025 - 3034
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ATP-binding cassette transporters use the energy of ATP hydrolysis to transport substrates across cellular membranes. They have two transmembrane domains and two cytosolic nucleotide-binding domains. Biochemical studies have characterized an occluded state of the transporter in which nucleotide is tenaciously bound in one active site, whereas the opposite active site is empty or binds nucleotide loosely. Here, we report molecular-dynamics simulations of the bacterial multidrug ATP-binding cassette transporter Sav1866. In two simulations of the ATP/apo state, the empty site opened substantially by way of rotation of the nucleotide-binding domain (NBD) core subdomain, whereas the ATP-bound site remained occluded and intact. We correlate our findings with elastic network and molecular-dynamics simulation analyses of the Sav1866 NBD monomer, and with existing experimental data, to argue that the observed transition is physiological, and that the final structure observed in the ATP/apo simulations corresponds to the tight/loose state of the NBD dimer characterized experimentally. © 2011 by the Biophysical Society.
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