2016 - Membrane pyrophosphatases from Thermotoga maritima and Vigna radiata suggest a conserved coupling mechanism
SURFE²R N1 publication in Nature Communications (2016)
Li K., Wilkinson C., Kellosalo J., Tsai J., Kajander T, Jeuken L.J.C., Sun Y., Goldman A.
Nat Commun (2016) 7:13596
Membrane-bound pyrophosphatases (M-PPases), which couple proton/sodium ion transport to pyrophosphate synthesis/hydrolysis, are important in abiotic stress resistance and in the infectivity of protozoan parasites. Here, three M-PPase structures in different catalytic states show that closure of the substrate-binding pocket by helices 5–6 affects helix 13 in the dimer interface and causes helix 12 to move down. This springs a ‘molecular mousetrap’, repositioning a conserved aspartate and activating the nucleophilic water. Corkscrew motion at helices 6 and 16 rearranges the key ionic gate residues and leads to ion pumping. The pumped ion is above the ion gate in one of the ion-bound structures, but below it in the other. Electrometric measurements show a single-turnover event with a non-hydrolysable inhibitor, supporting our model that ion pumping precedes hydrolysis. We propose a complete catalytic cycle for both proton and sodium-pumping M-PPases, and one that also explains the basis for ion specificity.