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Bimodal activation of SMC ATPase by intra- and inter-molecular interactions

By Michiko Hirano, David E. Anderson, Harold P. Erickson and Tatsuya Hirano


Structural maintenance of chromosomes (SMC) proteins play fundamental roles in higher-order chromosome dynamics from bacteria to humans. It has been proposed that the Bacillus subtilis SMC (BsSMC) homodimer is composed of two anti-parallel coiled-coil arms, each having an ATP-binding domain at its distal end. It remains totally unknown, however, how the two-armed structure supports ATP-dependent actions of BsSMC. By constructing a number of mutant derivatives including ‘single-armed’ BsSMC, we show here that the central hinge domain provides a structural flexibility that allows opening and closing of the two arms. This unique structure brings about bimodal regulation of the SMC ATPase cycle. Closing the arm can trigger ATP hydrolysis by allowing an end–end interaction within a dimer (intramolecular mode). When bound to DNA, ATP promotes a dimer–dimer interaction, which in turn activates their DNA-dependent ATPase activity (intermolecular mode). Our results reveal a novel mechanism of ATPase regulation and provide mechanistic insights into how eukaryotic SMC protein complexes could mediate diverse chromosomal functions, such as chromosome condensation and sister chromatid cohesion

Topics: Article
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Year: 2001
DOI identifier: 10.1093/emboj/20.12.3238
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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