Opening of the ADP-bound active site in the ABC transporter ATPase dimer: Evidence for a constant contact, alternating sites model for the catalytic cycle

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Journal Article
Proteins-Structure Function And Bioinformatics, 2009, 75 (2), pp. 387 - 396
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ABC transporters are ubiquitous, ATP-dependent transmembrane pumps. The mechanism by which ATP hydrolysis in the nucleotide-binding domain (NBD) effects conformational changes in the transmembrane domain that lead to allocrite translocation remains largely unknown. A possible aspect of this mechanism was suggested by previous molecular dynamics simulations of the MJ0796 NBD dimer, which revealed a novel, nucleotide-dependent intrasubunit conformational change involving the relative rotation of the helical and catalytic subdomains. Here, we find that in four of five simulations of the ADP/ATP-bound dimer, the relative rotation of the helical and catalytic subdomains in the ADP-bound monomer results in opening of the ADP-bound active site, probably sufficient or close to sufficient to allow nucleotide exchange. We also observe that in all five simulations of the ADP/ATP-bound dimer, the intimate contact of the LSGGQ signature sequence with the ATP gamma-phosphate is weakened by the intrasubunit conformational change within the ADP-bound monomer. We discuss how these results support a constant contact model for the function of the NBD dimer in contrast to switch models, in which the NBDs are proposed to fully disassociate during the catalytic cycle.
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