Published on July 19, 2005 in Biochemistry volume 44.
PubMed ID: 16008351
Archaeal ribosomal protein L7Ae is a multifunctional RNA-binding protein that recognizes the K-turn motif in ribosomal, box H/ACA, and box C/D sRNAs. The crystal structure of Methanocaldococcus jannaschii L7Ae has been determined to 1.45 A, and L7Ae's amino acid composition, evolutionary conservation, functional characteristics, and structural details have been analyzed. Comparison of the L7Ae structure to those of a number of related proteins with diverse functions has revealed significant structural homology which suggests that this protein fold is an ancient RNA-binding motif. Notably, the free M. jannaschii L7Ae structure is essentially identical to that with RNA bound, suggesting that RNA binding occurs through an induced-fit interaction. Circular dichroism experiments show that box C/D and C'/D' RNA motifs undergo conformational changes when magnesium or the L7Ae protein is added, corroborating the induced-fit model for L7Ae-box C/D RNA interactions.