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As a large family of membrane proteins crucial for bacterial physiology and virulence, the Multiple Peptide Resistance Factors (MprFs) utilize two separate domains to synthesize and translocate aminoacyl phospholipids to the outer leaflets of bacterial membranes. The function of MprFs enables Staphylococcus aureus and other pathogenic bacteria to acquire resistance to daptomycin and cationic antimicrobial peptides. Here we present cryo-electron microscopy structures of MprF homodimer from Rhizobium tropici (RtMprF) at two different states in complex with lysyl-phosphatidylglycerol (LysPG). RtMprF contains a membrane-embedded lipid-flippase domain with two deep cavities opening toward the inner and outer leaflets of the membrane respectively. Intriguingly, a hook-shaped LysPG molecule is trapped inside the inner cavity with its head group bent toward the outer cavity which hosts a second phospholipid-binding site. Moreover, RtMprF exhibits multiple conformational states with the synthase domain adopting distinct positions relative to the flippase domain. Our results provide a detailed framework for understanding the mechanisms of MprF-mediated modification and translocation of phospholipids.


Danfeng Song, Haizhan Jiao, Zhenfeng Liu. Phospholipid translocation captured in a bifunctional membrane protein MprF. Nature communications. 2021 May 18;12(1):2927

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PMID: 34006869

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