National Center for
5BQX: Crystal Structure Of Human Sting In Complex With 3'2'-cgamp
Molecular basis for the specific recognition of the metazoan cyclic GMP-AMP by the innate immune adaptor protein STING
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A. (2015) 112 p.8947-8952
Cyclic GMP-AMP containing a unique combination of mixed phosphodiester linkages (2'3'-cGAMP) is an endogenous second messenger molecule that activates the type-I IFN pathway upon binding to the homodimer of the adaptor protein STING on the surface of endoplasmic reticulum membrane. However, the preferential binding of the asymmetric ligand 2'3'-cGAMP to the symmetric dimer of STING represents a physicochemical enigma. Here we show that 2'3'-cGAMP, but not its linkage isomers, adopts an organized free-ligand conformation that resembles the STING-bound conformation and pays low entropy and enthalpy costs in converting into the active conformation. Our results demonstrate that analyses of free-ligand conformations can be as important as analyses of protein conformations in understanding protein-ligand interactions.