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Allosteric priming of E. coli CheY by the flagellar motor protein FliM

By Paige Wheatley, Sayan Gupta, Alessandro Pandini, Yan Chen, Christopher J. Petzold, Corie Y. Ralston, David F. Blair, Shahid Khan

Posted 25 Sep 2019
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/781468 (published DOI: 10.1016/j.bpj.2020.08.009)

Phosphorylation of Escherichia coli CheY protein transduces chemoreceptor stimulation to a highly cooperative flagellar motor response. CheY binds to the N-terminal peptide of the FliM motor protein (FliMN). Constitutively active D13K-Y106W CheY has been an important tool for motor physiology. The crystal structures of CheY and CheY.FliMN with and without D13K-Y106W have shown FliMN bound CheY contains features of both active and inactive states. We used molecular dynamics (MD) simulations to characterize the CheY conformational landscape accessed by FliMN and D13K-Y106W. Mutual information measures identified the central features of the long-range CheY allosteric network between D13K at the D57 phosphorylation site and Y/W106 at the FliMN interface; namely the closure of the α4 - β4 hinge and inward rotation of Y/W106 with W58. We used hydroxy-radical foot-printing with mass spectroscopy (XFMS) to track the solvent accessibility of these and other sidechains. The solution XFMS oxidation rate correlated with the solvent-accessible area of the crystal structures. The protection of allosteric relay sidechains reported by XFMS confirmed the intermediate conformation of the native CheY.FliMN complex, the inactive state of free D13K-Y106W CheY and the MD-based network architecture. We extended the MD analysis to determine temporal coupling and energetics during activation. Coupled aromatic residue rotation was a graded rather than a binary switch with Y/W106 sidechain burial correlated with increased FliMN affinity. Activation entrained CheY fold stabilization to FliMN affinity. The CheY network could be partitioned into four dynamically coordinated community sectors. Residue substitutions mapped to sectors around D57 or the FliMN interface according to phenotype. FliMN increased sector size and interactions. These sectors fused between the substituted K13K-W106 residues to organize a tightly packed core and novel surfaces that may bind additional sites to explain the cooperative motor response. The community maps provide a more complete description of CheY priming than proposed thus far. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.

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