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Molecular interactions within the halophilic, thermophilic, and mesophilic prokaryotic ribosomal complexes: clues to environmental adaptation
PMID: 24697502
Volume: 33
Issue: 3
Pages: 639 - 656
Using the available crystal structures of 50S ribosomal subunits from three prokaryotic species: Escherichia coli (mesophilic), Thermus thermophilus (thermophilic), and Haloarcula marismortui (halophilic), we have analyzed different structural features of ribosomal RNAs (rRNAs), proteins, and of their interfaces. We have correlated these structural features with the environmental adaptation strategies of the corresponding species. While dense intra-rRNA packing is observed in thermophilic, loose intra-rRNA packing is observed in halophilic (both compared to mesophilic). Interestingly, protein-rRNA interfaces of both the extremophiles are densely packed compared to that of the mesophilic. The intersubunit bridge regions are almost devoid of cavities, probably ensuring the proper formation of each bridge (by not allowing any loosely packed region nearby). During rRNA binding, the ribosomal proteins experience some structural transitions. Here, we have analyzed the intrinsically disordered and ordered regions of the ribosomal proteins, which are subjected to such transitions. The intrinsically disordered and disorder-to-order transition sites of the thermophilic and mesophilic ribosomal proteins are simultaneously (i) highly conserved and (ii) slowly evolving compared to rest of the protein structure. Although high conservation is observed at such sites of halophilic ribosomal proteins, but slow rate of evolution is absent. Such differences between thermophilic, mesophilic, and halophilic can be explained from their environmental adaptation strategy. Interestingly, a universal biophysical principle evident by a linear relationship between the free energy of interface formation, interface area, and structural changes of r-proteins during assembly is always maintained, irrespective of the environmental conditions.
About the journal
JournalJournal of Biomolecular Structure and Dynamics
Open AccessNo