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Protein Sci. 2006 Jun;15(6):1506-11. Epub 2006 May 2.

Structural characterization of GntR/HutC family signaling domain.

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Ontario Center for Structural Proteomics, University Health Network, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario M5G 1L7, Canada.


The crystal structure of Escherichia coli PhnF C-terminal domain (C-PhnF) was solved at 1.7 A resolution by the single wavelength anomalous dispersion (SAD) method. The PhnF protein belongs to the HutC subfamily of the large GntR transcriptional regulator family. Members of this family share similar N-terminal DNA-binding domains, but are divided into four subfamilies according to their heterogenic C-terminal domains, which are involved in effector binding and oligomerization. The C-PhnF structure provides for the first time the scaffold of this domain for the HutC subfamily, which covers about 31% of GntR-like regulators. The structure represents a mixture of alpha-helices and beta-strands, with a six-stranded antiparallel beta-sheet at the core. C-PhnF monomers form a dimer by establishing interdomain eight-strand beta-sheets that include core antiparallel and N-terminal two-strand parallel beta-sheets from each monomer. C-PhnF shares strong structural similarity with the chorismate lyase fold, which features a buried active site locked behind two helix-turn-helix loops. The structural comparison of the C-PhnF and UbiC proteins allows us to propose that a similar site in the PhnF structure is adapted for effector binding.

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