Solution Structure of the dATP-Inactivated Class I Ribonucleotide Reductase From Leeuwenhoekiella blandensis by SAXS and Cryo-Electron Microscopy

Front Mol Biosci. 2021 Jul 26:8:713608. doi: 10.3389/fmolb.2021.713608. eCollection 2021.


The essential enzyme ribonucleotide reductase (RNR) is highly regulated both at the level of overall activity and substrate specificity. Studies of class I, aerobic RNRs have shown that overall activity is downregulated by the binding of dATP to a small domain known as the ATP-cone often found at the N-terminus of RNR subunits, causing oligomerization that prevents formation of a necessary α2β2 complex between the catalytic (α2) and radical generating (β2) subunits. In some relatively rare organisms with RNRs of the subclass NrdAi, the ATP-cone is found at the N-terminus of the β subunit rather than more commonly the α subunit. Binding of dATP to the ATP-cone in β results in formation of an unusual β4 tetramer. However, the structural basis for how the formation of the active complex is hindered by such oligomerization has not been studied. Here we analyse the low-resolution three-dimensional structures of the separate subunits of an RNR from subclass NrdAi, as well as the α4β4 octamer that forms in the presence of dATP. The results reveal a type of oligomer not previously seen for any class of RNR and suggest a mechanism for how binding of dATP to the ATP-cone switches off catalysis by sterically preventing formation of the asymmetrical α2β2 complex.

Keywords: allosteric regulation; nucleotide binding; oligomerization; ribonucleotide reductase; single particle cryo-EM; small-angle X-ray scattering.