4JHH: Crystal Structure of Medicago Truncatula Nodulin 13 (Mtn13) in Complex With Kinetin

Nodulation is an extraordinary symbiotic interaction between leguminous plants and nitrogen-fixing bacteria (rhizobia) that assimilate atmospheric nitrogen (in root nodules) and convert it into compounds suitable for the plant host. A class of plant hormones called cytokinins are involved in the nodulation process. In the model legume Medicago truncatula, nodulin 13 (MtN13), which belongs to the pathogenesis-related proteins of class 10 (PR-10), is expressed in the outer cortex of the nodules. In general, PR-10 proteins are small and monomeric and have a characteristic fold with an internal hydrophobic cavity formed between a seven-stranded antiparallel beta-sheet and a C-terminal alpha-helix. Previously, some PR-10 proteins not related to nodulation were found to bind cytokinins such as trans-zeatin. Here, four crystal structures of the MtN13 protein are reported in complexes with several cytokinins, namely trans-zeatin, N(6)-isopentenyladenine, kinetin and N(6)-benzyladenine. All four phytohormones are bound in the hydrophobic cavity in the same manner and have excellent definition in the electron-density maps. The binding of the cytokinins appears to be strong and specific and is reinforced by several hydrogen bonds. Although the binding stoichiometry is 1:1, the complex is actually dimeric, with a cytokinin molecule bound in each subunit. The ligand-binding site in each cavity is formed with the participation of a loop element from the other subunit, which plugs the only entrance to the cavity. Interestingly, a homodimer of MtN13 is also formed in solution, as confirmed by small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS).
PDB ID: 4JHHDownload
MMDB ID: 115652
PDB Deposition Date: 2013/3/5
Updated in MMDB: 2013/12 
Experimental Method:
x-ray diffraction
Resolution: 2.2  Å
Source Organism:
Similar Structures:
Biological Unit for 4JHH: dimeric; determined by author and by software (PISA)
Molecular Components in 4JHH
Label Count Molecule
Proteins (2 molecules)
Mtn13 Protein
Molecule annotation
Chemicals (6 molecules)
* Click molecule labels to explore molecular sequence information.

Citing MMDB