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The multidomain protein Thermus aquaticus MutS and its prokaryotic and eukaryotic homologs recognize DNA replication errors and initiate mismatch repair. MutS actions are fueled by ATP binding and hydrolysis, which modulate its interactions with DNA and other proteins in the mismatch-repair pathway. The DNA binding and ATPase activities are allosterically coupled over a distance of ∼70 Å, and the molecular mechanism of coupling has not been clarified. To address this problem, all-atom molecular dynamics simulations of ∼150 ns including explicit solvent were performed on two key complexes--ATP-bound and ATP-free MutS⋅DNA(+T bulge). We used principal component analysis in fluctuation space to assess ATP ligand-induced changes in MutS structure and dynamics. The molecular dynamics-calculated ensembles of thermally accessible structures showed markedly small differences between the two complexes. However, analysis of the covariance of dynamical fluctuations revealed a number of potentially significant interresidue and interdomain couplings. Moreover, principal component analysis revealed clusters of correlated atomic fluctuations linking the DNA and nucleotide binding sites, especially in the ATP-bound MutS⋅DNA(+T) complex. These results support the idea that allosterism between the nucleotide and DNA binding sites in MutS can occur via ligand-induced changes in motion, i.e., dynamical allosterism. Copyright © 2011 Biophysical Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Susan N Pieniazek, Manju M Hingorani, D L Beveridge. Dynamical allosterism in the mechanism of action of DNA mismatch repair protein MutS. Biophysical journal. 2011 Oct 5;101(7):1730-9

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PMID: 21961599

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