Molecular dynamics simulation of SRP GTPases: Towards an understanding of the complex formation from equilibrium fluctuations

Mingjun Yang, Xin Zhang, Keli Han

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Signal recognition particle (SRP) and its receptor (SR) play essential role in the SRP-dependent protein targeting pathway. They interact with one another to precisely regulate the targeting reaction. The mechanism of this interaction consists of at least two discrete conformational states: complex formation and GTPase activation. Although structural studies have provided valuable insights into the understanding of the SRP-SR interaction, it still remains unclear that how SRP and SR GTPases use their intrinsic conformational flexibilities to exert multiple allosteric regulations on this interaction process. Here, we use computational simulations to present the dynamic behavior of the SRP GTPases at an atomic level to gain further understanding of SRP-SR interaction. We show that: (i) equilibrium conformational fluctuations contain a cooperative inter-and intradomain structural rearrangements that are functionally relevant to complex formation, (ii) a series of residues in different domains are identified to correlate with each other during conformational rearrangements, and (iii) α3 and a4 helices at domain interface actively rearrange their relative conformation to function as a bridge between the N domain and the core region of the G domain. These results, in addition to structural studies, would harness our understanding of the molecular mechanism for SRP and SR interaction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2222-2237
Number of pages16
JournalProteins: Structure, Function and Bioinformatics
Issue number10
StatePublished - Aug 1 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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