Structural basis of elongation factor 2 switching.
Publication Type:Journal Article
Source:Curr Res Struct Biol, Volume 2, p.25-34 (2020)
<p>Archaebacterial and eukaryotic elongation factor 2 (EF-2) and bacterial elongation factor G (EF-G) are five domain GTPases that catalyze the ribosomal translocation of tRNA and mRNA. In the classical mechanism of activation, GTPases are switched on through GDP/GTP exchange, which is accompanied by the ordering of two flexible segments called switch I and II. However, crystal structures of EF-2 and EF-G have thus far not revealed the conformations required by the classical mechanism. Here, we describe crystal structures of EF-2 (EF-2) and EF-2-H595N bound to GMPPCP (GppCp) and magnesium displaying previously unreported compact conformations. Domain III forms interfaces with the other four domains and the overall conformations resemble that of SNU114, the eukaryotic spliceosomal GTPase. The gamma phosphate of GMPPCP is detected through interactions with switch I and a P-loop structural element. Switch II is highly ordered whereas switch I shows a variable degree of ordering. The ordered state results in a tight interdomain arrangement of domains I-III and the formation of a portion of a predicted monovalent cation site involving the P-loop and switch I. The side chain of an essential histidine residue in switch II is placed in the inactive conformation observed for the "on" state of elongation factor EF-Tu. The compact conformations of EF-2 and EF-2-H595N suggest an "on" ribosome-free conformational state.</p>