Send to

Choose Destination
Biochemistry. 1991 Feb 26;30(8):2227-39.

Crystal structure of unliganded Escherichia coli dihydrofolate reductase. Ligand-induced conformational changes and cooperativity in binding.

Author information

Department of Chemistry, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla 92093.


The crystal structure of unliganded dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) from Escherichia coli has been solved and refined to an R factor of 19% at 2.3-A resolution in a crystal form that is nonisomorphous with each of the previously reported E. coli DHFR crystal structures [Bolin, J. T., Filman, D. J., Matthews, D. A., Hamlin, B. C., & Kraut, J. (1982) J. Biol. Chem. 257, 13650-13662; Bystroff, C., Oatley, S. J., & Kraut, J. (1990) Biochemistry 29, 3263-3277]. Significant conformational changes occur between the apoenzyme and each of the complexes: the NADP+ holoenzyme, the folate-NADP+ ternary complex, and the methotrexate (MTX) binary complex. The changes are small, with the largest about 3 A and most of them less than 1 A. For simplicity a two-domain description is adopted in which one domain contains the NADP+ 2'-phosphate binding site and the binding sites for the rest of the coenzyme and for the substrate lie between the two domains. Binding of either NADP+ or MTX induces a closing of the PABG-binding cleft and realignment of alpha-helices C and F which bind the pyrophosphate of the coenzyme. Formation of the ternary complex from the holoenzyme does not involve further relative domain shifts but does involve a shift of alpha-helix B and a floppy loop (the Met-20 loop) that precedes alpha B. These observations suggest a mechanism for cooperativity in binding between substrate and coenzyme wherein the greatest degree of cooperativity is expressed in the transition-state complex. We explore the idea that the MTX binary complex in some ways resembles the transition-state complex.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center