Summary information and primary citation

6cb3; DSSR-derived features in text and JSON formats
X-ray (1.891 Å)
Crystal structure of the l.lactis ykoy riboswitch bound to cadmium
Bachas ST, Ferre-D'Amare AR (2018): "Convergent Use of Heptacoordination for Cation Selectivity by RNA and Protein Metalloregulators." Cell Chem Biol, 25, 962-973.e5. doi: 10.1016/j.chembiol.2018.04.016.
The large yybP-ykoY family of bacterial riboswitches is broadly distributed phylogenetically. Previously, these gene-regulatory RNAs were proposed to respond to Mn2+. X-ray crystallography revealed a binuclear cation-binding pocket. This comprises one hexacoordinate site, with six oxygen ligands, which preorganizes the second, with five oxygen and one nitrogen ligands. The relatively soft nitrogen ligand was proposed to confer affinity for Mn2+, but how this excludes other soft cations remained enigmatic. By subjecting representative yybP-ykoY riboswitches to diverse cations in vitro, we now find that these RNAs exhibit limited transition metal ion selectivity. Among the cations tested, Cd2+ and Mn2+ bind most tightly, and comparison of three new Cd2+-bound crystal structures suggests that these riboswitches achieve selectivity by enforcing heptacoordination (favored by high-spin Cd2+ and Mn2+, but otherwise uncommon) in the softer site. Remarkably, the Cd2+- and Mn2+-selective bacterial transcription factor MntR also uses heptacoordination within a binuclear site to achieve selectivity.

Cartoon-block schematics in six views (download the tarball)

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