- Sheng G, Zhao H, Wang J, Rao Y, Tian W, Swarts DC, van der Oost J, Patel DJ, Wang Y
- Structure-based cleavage mechanism of Thermus thermophilus Argonaute DNA guide strand-mediated DNA target cleavage.
- Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Dec 27.
- We report on crystal structures of ternary Thermus thermophilus Argonaute (TtAgo) complexes with 5'-phosphorylated guide DNA and a series of DNA targets. These ternary complex structures of cleavage-incompatible, cleavage-compatible, and postcleavage states solved at improved resolution up to 2.2 A have provided molecular insights into the orchestrated positioning of catalytic residues, a pair of Mg2+ cations, and the putative water nucleophile positioned for in-line attack on the cleavable phosphate for TtAgo-mediated target cleavage by a RNase H-type mechanism. In addition, these ternary complex structures have provided insights into protein and DNA conformational changes that facilitate transition between cleavage-incompatible and cleavage-compatible states, including the role of a Glu finger in generating a cleavage-competent catalytic Asp-Glu-Asp-Asp tetrad. Following cleavage, the seed segment forms a stable duplex with the complementary segment of the target strand.