TCB Publications - Abstract

HyeongJun Kim, Jen Hsin, Yanxin Liu, Paul R. Selvin, and Klaus Schulten. Formation of salt bridges mediates internal dimerization of myosin VI medial tail domain. Structure, 18:1443-1449, 2010. (PMC: 3027149)

KIM2010 The unconventional motor protein, myosin VI, is known to dimerize upon cargo-binding to its C-terminal end. It has been shown that one of its tail domains, called the medial tail domain, is a dimerization region. The domain contains an unusual pattern of alternating charged residues and a few hydrophobic residues. To reveal the unknown dimerization mechanism of the medial tail domain, we employed molecular dynamics and single-molecule experimental techniques. Both techniques suggest that the formation of electrostatic-based inter-helical salt bridges between oppositely-charged residues is a key dimerization factor. For the dimerization to occur, the two identical helices within the dimer don't bind in a symmetric fashion, but rather with an off-set of about one helical repeat. Calculations of the dimer-dissociation energy find the contribution of hydrophobic residues to the dimerization process to be minor; they also find that the asymmetric homodimer state is energetically favorable over a state of separate helices.

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