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The bacterial homologues of the signal recognition particle (SRP) and its receptor, the Ffh*4.5S RNA ribonucleoprotein complex and the FtsY protein, respectively, form a unique complex in which both Ffh and FtsY act as GTPase activating proteins for one another, resulting in the mutual stimulation of GTP hydrolysis by both proteins. Previous work showed(More)
Divalent metal ions play a crucial role in catalysis by many RNA and protein enzymes that carry out phosphoryl transfer reactions, and defining their interactions with substrates is critical for understanding the mechanism of biological phosphoryl transfer. Although a vast amount of structural work has identified metal ions bound at the active site of many(More)
Metal ions are critical for catalysis by many RNA and protein enzymes. To understand how these enzymes use metal ions for catalysis, it is crucial to determine how many metal ions are positioned at the active site. We report here an approach, combining atomic mutagenesis with quantitative determination of metal ion affinities, that allows individual metal(More)
The pathway by which ubiquitin chains are generated on substrate through a cascade of enzymes consisting of an E1, E2 and E3 remains unclear. Multiple distinct models involving chain assembly on E2 or substrate have been proposed. However, the speed and complexity of the reaction have precluded direct experimental tests to distinguish between potential(More)
The "GTPase switch" paradigm, in which a GTPase switches between an active, GTP-bound state and an inactive, GDP-bound state through the recruitment of nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs) or GTPase activating proteins (GAPs), has been used to interpret the regulatory mechanism of many GTPases. A notable exception to this paradigm is provided by two GTPases(More)
Efficient and accurate protein localization is essential to cells and requires protein-targeting machineries to both effectively capture the cargo in the cytosol and productively unload the cargo at the membrane. To understand how these challenges are met, we followed the interaction of translating ribosomes during their targeting by the signal recognition(More)
The signal recognition particle (SRP) mediates the cotranslational targeting of nascent proteins to the eukaryotic endoplasmic reticulum membrane or the bacterial plasma membrane. During this process, two GTPases, one in SRP and one in the SRP receptor (named Ffh and FtsY in bacteria, respectively), form a complex in which both proteins reciprocally(More)
The modular SCF (Skp1, cullin, and F box) ubiquitin ligases feature a large family of F box protein substrate receptors that enable recognition of diverse targets. However, how the repertoire of SCF complexes is sustained remains unclear. Real-time measurements of formation and disassembly indicate that SCF(Fbxw7) is extraordinarily stable, but, in the(More)
Proper protein localization is essential for all cells. However, the precise mechanism by which high fidelity is achieved is not well understood for any protein-targeting pathway. To address this fundamental question, we investigated the signal recognition particle (SRP) pathway in Escherichia coli, which delivers proteins to the bacterial inner membrane(More)
During cotranslational protein targeting, two guanosine triphosphatase (GTPase) in the signal recognition particle (SRP) and its receptor (SR) form a unique complex in which hydrolyses of both guanosine triphosphates (GTP) are activated in a shared active site. It was thought that GTP hydrolysis drives the recycling of SRP and SR, but is not crucial for(More)