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Understanding nucleotide-regulated FtsZ filament dynamics and the monomer assembly switch with large-scale atomistic simulations

AuthorsRamirez-Aportela, E.; López-Blanco, José R.; Andreu, María José ; Chacón, Pablo
Issue Date2014
PublisherBiophysical Society
CitationBiophysical Journal 107: 2164- 2176 (2014)
Abstract© 2014 Biophysical Society. Bacterial cytoskeletal protein FtsZ assembles in a head-to-tail manner, forming dynamic filaments that are essential for cell division. Here, we study their dynamics using unbiased atomistic molecular simulations from representative filament crystal structures. In agreement with experimental data, we find different filament curvatures that are supported by a nucleotide-regulated hinge motion between consecutive FtsZ monomers. Whereas GTP-FtsZ filaments bend and twist in a preferred orientation, thereby burying the nucleotide, the differently curved GDP-FtsZ filaments exhibit a heterogeneous distribution of open and closed interfaces between monomers. We identify a coordinated Mg2+ ion as the key structural element in closing the nucleotide site and stabilizing GTP filaments, whereas the loss of the contacts with loop T7 from the next monomer in GDP filaments leads to open interfaces that are more prone to depolymerization. We monitored the FtsZ monomer assembly switch, which involves opening/closing of the cleft between the C-terminal domain and the H7 helix, and observed the relaxation of isolated and filament minus-end monomers into the closed-cleft inactive conformation. This result validates the proposed switch between the low-affinity monomeric closed-cleft conformation and the active open-cleft FtsZ conformation within filaments. Finally, we observed how the antibiotic PC190723 suppresses the disassembly switch and allosterically induces closure of the intermonomer interfaces, thus stabilizing the filament. Our studies provide detailed structural and dynamic insights into modulation of both the intrinsic curvature of the FtsZ filaments and the molecular switch coupled to the high-affinity end-wise association of FtsZ monomers.
Identifiersdoi: 10.1016/j.bpj.2014.09.033
issn: 1542-0086
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