National Center for
2GK6: Structural And Functional Insights Into The Human Upf1 Helicase Core
EMBO J. (2007) 26 p.253-264
Nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD) is an mRNA surveillance pathway that recognizes and degrades aberrant mRNAs containing premature stop codons. A critical protein in NMD is Upf1p, which belongs to the helicase super family 1 (SF1), and is thought to utilize the energy of ATP hydrolysis to promote transitions in the structure of RNA or RNA-protein complexes. The crystal structure of the catalytic core of human Upf1p determined in three states (phosphate-, AMPPNP- and ADP-bound forms) reveals an overall structure containing two RecA-like domains with two additional domains protruding from the N-terminal RecA-like domain. Structural comparison combined with mutational analysis identifies a likely single-stranded RNA (ssRNA)-binding channel, and a cycle of conformational change coupled to ATP binding and hydrolysis. These conformational changes alter the likely ssRNA-binding channel in a manner that can explain how ATP binding destabilizes ssRNA binding to Upf1p.