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Structural insights into the dynamics and function of the C-terminus of the E. coli RNA chaperone Hfq

Beich Frandsen, M. and Vecerek, B. and Konarev, P.V. and Sjoblom, B. and Kloiber, K. and Hammerle, H. and Rajkowitsch, L. and Miles, Andrew J. and Kontaxis, G. and Wallace, Bonnie A. and Svergun, D.I. and Konrat, R. and Blasi, U. and Djinovic Carugo, K. (2011) Structural insights into the dynamics and function of the C-terminus of the E. coli RNA chaperone Hfq. Nucleic Acids Research 39 (11), pp. 4900-4915. ISSN 0305-1048.

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The hexameric Escherichia coli RNA chaperone Hfq (Hfq(Ec)) is involved in riboregulation of target mRNAs by small trans-encoded RNAs. Hfq proteins of different bacteria comprise an evolutionarily conserved core, whereas the C-terminus is variable in length. Although the structure of the conserved core has been elucidated for several Hfq proteins, no structural information has yet been obtained for the C-terminus. Using bioinformatics, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, synchrotron radiation circular dichroism (SRCD) spectroscopy and small angle X-ray scattering we provide for the first time insights into the conformation and dynamic properties of the C-terminal extension of Hfq(Ec). These studies indicate that the C-termini are flexible and extend laterally away from the hexameric core, displaying in this way features typical of intrinsically disordered proteins that facilitate intermolecular interactions. We identified a minimal, intrinsically disordered region of the C-terminus supporting the interactions with longer RNA fragments. This minimal region together with rest of the C-terminal extension provides a flexible moiety capable of tethering long and structurally diverse RNA molecules. Furthermore, SRCD spectroscopy supported the hypothesis that RNA fragments exceeding a certain length interact with the C-termini of Hfq(Ec).

Item Type: Article
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Science > Biological Sciences
Depositing User: Administrator
Date Deposited: 24 May 2011 10:31
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2013 12:33

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