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Cell. 1997 Nov 14;91(4):447-56.

The structure of ClpP at 2.3 A resolution suggests a model for ATP-dependent proteolysis.

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Biology Department, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, New York 11973-5000, USA.


We have determined the crystal structure of the proteolytic component of the caseinolytic Clp protease (ClpP) from E. coli at 2.3 A resolution using an ab initio phasing procedure that exploits the internal 14-fold symmetry of the oligomer. The structure of a ClpP monomer has a distinct fold that defines a fifth structural family of serine proteases but a conserved catalytic apparatus. The active protease resembles a hollow, solid-walled cylinder composed of two 7-fold symmetric rings stacked back-to-back. Its 14 proteolytic active sites are located within a central, roughly spherical chamber approximately 51 A in diameter. Access to the proteolytic chamber is controlled by two axial pores, each having a minimum diameter of approximately 10 A. From the structural features of ClpP, we suggest a model for its action in degrading proteins.

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