G-protein metallochaperones ensure fidelity during cofactor assembly for a variety of metalloproteins, including adenosylcobalamin (AdoCbl)-dependent methylmalonyl-CoA mutase and hydrogenase, and thus have both medical and biofuel development applications. Here, we present crystal structures of IcmF, a natural fusion protein of AdoCbl-dependent isobutyryl-CoA mutase and its corresponding G-protein chaperone, which reveal the molecular architecture of a G-protein metallochaperone in complex with its target protein. These structures show that conserved G-protein elements become ordered upon target protein association, creating the molecular pathways that both sense and report on the cofactor loading state. Structures determined of both apo- and holo-forms of IcmF depict both open and closed enzyme states, in which the cofactor-binding domain is alternatively positioned for cofactor loading and for catalysis. Notably, the G protein moves as a unit with the cofactor-binding domain, providing a visualization of how a chaperone assists in the sequestering of a precious cofactor inside an enzyme active site.
Keywords: G protein; crystallography; metallochaperone; metallocofactor delivery; vitamin B12.