Send to

Choose Destination
Nat Struct Mol Biol. 2008 Sep;15(9):916-23.

SRP RNA controls a conformational switch regulating the SRP-SRP receptor interaction.

Author information

Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of California at San Francisco, 600 16th Street, San Francisco, California 94158, USA.


The interaction of the signal-recognition particle (SRP) with its receptor (SR) mediates co-translational protein targeting to the membrane. SRP and SR interact via their homologous core GTPase domains and N-terminal four-helix bundles (N domains). SRP-SR complex formation is slow unless catalyzed by SRP's essential RNA component. We show that truncation of the first helix of the N domain (helix N1) of both proteins dramatically accelerates their interaction. SRP and SR with helix N1 truncations interact at nearly the RNA-catalyzed rate in the absence of RNA. NMR spectroscopy and analysis of GTPase activity show that helix N1 truncation in SR mimics the conformational switch caused by complex formation. These results demonstrate that the N-terminal helices of SRP and SR are autoinhibitory for complex formation in the absence of SRP RNA, suggesting a mechanism for RNA-mediated coordination of the SRP-SR interaction.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Publication types, MeSH terms, Substances, Grant support

Publication types

MeSH terms


Grant support

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center