Send to

Choose Destination
Mol Cell. 2006 Jan 20;21(2):175-86.

Opening closed arms: long-distance activation of SMC ATPase by hinge-DNA interactions.

Author information

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, One Bungtown Road, Cold Spring Harbor, New York 11724, USA.


Structural maintenance of chromosomes (SMC) proteins form a V-shaped dimer in which a central hinge domain connects two coiled-coil arms, each having an ATP binding head domain at its distal end. Here, we show that the hinge domain plays essential roles in modulating the mechanochemical cycle of SMC proteins. An initial interaction of the hinge domain with DNA leads to opening of the arms by triggering hydrolysis of ATP bound to the head domains, which are located approximately 50 nm away from the hinge. This conformational change allows the inner surface of the hinge domain to stably interact with DNA by an ATP-independent mechanism and primes ATP-driven engagement between the liberated head domains either intramolecularly or intermolecularly. Consistently, a variety of hinge mutations drastically alter DNA binding properties of SMC proteins through distinct mechanisms. Our results suggest that SMC proteins possess an intrinsic property to change their own conformations upon binding to DNA.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center