Two Distinct States of the HAMP Domain from Sensory Rhodopsin Transducer Observed in Unbiased Molecular Dynamics Simulations

Abstract : HAMP domain is a ubiquitous module of bacterial and archaeal two-component signaling systems. Considerable progress has been made recently in studies of its structure and conformational changes. However, the mechanism of signal transduction through the HAMP domain is not clear. It remains a question whether all the HAMPs have the same mechanism of action and what are the differences between the domains from different protein families. Here, we present the results of unbiased molecular dynamics simulations of the HAMP domain from the archaeal phototaxis signal transducer NpHtrII. Two distinct conformational states of the HAMP domain are observed, that differ in relative position of the helices AS1 and AS2. The longitudinal shift is roughly equal to a half of an alpha-helix turn, although sometimes it reaches one full turn. The states are closely related to the position of bulky hydrophobic aminoacids at the HAMP domain core. The observed features are in good agreement with recent experimental results and allow us to propose that the states detected in the simulations are the resting state and the signaling state of the NpHtrII HAMP domain. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first observation of the same HAMP domain in different conformations. The simulations also underline the difference between AMBER ff99-SB-ILDN and CHARMM22-CMAP forcefields, as the former favors the resting state and the latter favors the signaling state
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Ivan Yu. Gushchin, Valentin I. Gordeliy, Sergei Grudinin. Two Distinct States of the HAMP Domain from Sensory Rhodopsin Transducer Observed in Unbiased Molecular Dynamics Simulations. PLoS ONE, Public Library of Science, 2013, 8 (7), pp.e66917. 〈10.1371/journal.pone.0066917〉. 〈hal-00881143〉

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