TCB Publications - Abstract

Wen Yang, Keith Cassidy, Peter Ames, Christoph A. Diebolder, Klaus Schulten, Zaida Luthey-Schulten, John S. Parkinson, and Ariane Briegel. In situ conformational changes of the Escherichia coli serine chemoreceptor in different signaling states. Molecular Biology and Physiology, 10:e00973-19, 2019. (PMC: PMC6606802)

YANG2019 Tsr, the serine chemoreceptor in Escherichia coli, transduces signals from a periplasmic ligand-binding site to its cytoplasmic tip, where it controls the activity of the CheA kinase. To function, Tsr forms trimers of homodimers (TODs), which associate in vivo with the CheA kinase and CheW coupling protein. Together, these proteins assemble into extended hexagonal arrays. Here, we use cryo-electron tomography and molecular dynamics simulation to study Tsr in the context of a near-native array, characterizing its signaling-related conformational changes at both the individual dimer and the trimer level. In particular, we show that individual Tsr dimers within a trimer exhibit asymmetric flexibilities that are a function of the signaling state, highlighting the effect of their different protein interactions at the receptor tips. We further reveal that the dimer compactness of the Tsr trimer changes between signaling states, transitioning at the glycine hinge from a compact conformation in the kinase-OFF state to an expanded conformation in the kinase-ON state. Hence, our results support a crucial role for the glycine hinge: to allow the receptor flexibility necessary to achieve different signaling states while also maintaining structural constraints imposed by the membrane and extended array architecture.

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