The pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH) multienzyme complex is central to oxidative metabolism. We present the first crystal structure of a complex between pyruvate decarboxylase (E1) and the peripheral subunit binding domain (PSBD) of the dihydrolipoyl acetyltransferase (E2). The interface is dominated by a "charge zipper" of networked salt bridges. Remarkably, the PSBD uses essentially the same zipper to alternately recognize the dihydrolipoyl dehydrogenase (E3) component of the PDH assembly.
Thiamine diphosphate (ThDP) is used as a cofactor in many key metabolic enzymes. We present evidence that the ThDPs in the two active sites of the E1 (EC 184.108.40.206) component of the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex communicate over a distance of 20 angstroms by reversibly shuttling a proton through an acidic tunnel in the protein. This "proton wire" permits the co-factors to serve reciprocally as general acid/base in catalysis and to switch the conformation of crucial active-site peptide loops.
RNase E is an essential bacterial endoribonuclease involved in the turnover of messenger RNA and the maturation of structured RNA precursors in Escherichia coli. Here, we present the crystal structure of the E. coli RNase E catalytic domain in the apo-state at 3.3 A. This structure indicates that, upon catalytic activation, RNase E undergoes a marked conformational change characterized by the coupled movement of two RNA-binding domains to organize the active site.
The thiamine-dependent E1o component (EC 220.127.116.11) of the 2-oxoglutarate dehydrogenase complex catalyses a rate-limiting step of the tricarboxylic acid cycle (TCA) of aerobically respiring organisms. We describe the crystal structure of Escherichia coli E1o in its apo and holo forms at 2.6 Å and 3.5 Å resolution, respectively.
Diverse molecules, from small antibacterial drugs to large protein toxins, are exported directly across both cell membranes of gram-negative bacteria. This export is brought about by the reversible interaction of substrate-specific inner-membrane proteins with an outer-membrane protein of the TolC family, thus bypassing the intervening periplasm. Here we report the 2.1-A crystal structure of TolC from Escherichia coli, revealing a distinctive and previously unknown fold.