Research ArticleBIOCHEMISTRY

Long-range allosteric signaling in red light–regulated diguanylyl cyclases

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Science Advances  03 Mar 2017:
Vol. 3, no. 3, e1602498
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1602498

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Nature has evolved an astonishingly modular architecture of covalently linked protein domains with diverse functionalities to enable complex cellular networks that are critical for cell survival. The coupling of sensory modules with enzymatic effectors allows direct allosteric regulation of cellular signaling molecules in response to diverse stimuli. We present molecular details of red light–sensing bacteriophytochromes linked to cyclic dimeric guanosine monophosphate–producing diguanylyl cyclases. Elucidation of the first crystal structure of a full-length phytochrome with its enzymatic effector, in combination with the characterization of light-induced changes in conformational dynamics, reveals how allosteric light regulation is fine-tuned by the architecture and composition of the coiled-coil sensor-effector linker and also the central helical spine. We anticipate that consideration of molecular principles of sensor-effector coupling, going beyond the length of the characteristic linker, and the appreciation of dynamically driven allostery will open up new directions for the design of novel red light–regulated optogenetic tools.

  • phytochrome
  • allostery
  • sensor
  • effector
  • diguanylate cyclase
  • c-di-GMP
  • HDX-MS
  • dynamics
  • SAXS

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