Czech Infrastructure for Integrative Structural Biology – CIISB

A gateway to realm of structural data for biochemists, biophysicists, molecular biologist, and all scientists whose research benefits from accurate structure determination of biological macromolecules, assemblies, and complex molecular machineries at atomic resolution.

Open access to 10 high-end core facilities and assisted expertise in NMR, X-ray crystallography and crystallization, cryo-electron microscopy and tomography, biophysical characterization of biomolecular interaction, nanobiotechnology, proteomics and structural mass spectrometry.

Czech national centre of European Research Infrastructure Consortium INSTRUCT ERIC.

XV. Discussions in Structural Molecular Biology and II CIISB Users Meeting in Nové Hrady on March 22–24, 2018


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Research highlights

Cryo-EM Structures of Polyproline-Stalled Ribosomes in the Presence of EF-P (A–C) Schematic representation (A) and cryo-EM reconstructions (B and C) of PPP-stalled ribosome complexes with (B) or without (C) of EF-P (salmon) bound in the E site. (D and E) Cryo-EM density (mesh) of the CCA end of the P-site tRNA (green) from cryo-EM maps in (C) without EF-P (D) and in (B) with EF-P (E), respectively, with aligned fMet (cyan, PDB: 1VY4) (Polikanov et al., 2014).

Daniel N. Wilson Research Group


Ribosomes synthesizing proteins containing consecutive proline residues become stalled and require rescue via the action of uniquely modified translation elongation factors, EF-P in bacteria, or archaeal/eukaryotic a/eIF5A. To date, no structures exist of EF-P or eIF5A in complex with translating ribosomes stalled at polyproline stretches, and thus structural insight into how EF-P/eIF5A rescue these arrested ribosomes has been lacking. Here we present cryo-EM structures of ribosomes stalled on proline stretches, without and with modified EF-P. The structures suggest that the favored conformation of the polyproline-containing nascent chain is incompatible with the peptide exit tunnel of the ribosome and leads to destabilization of the peptidyl-tRNA. Binding of EF-P stabilizes the P-site tRNA, particularly via interactions between its modification and the CCA end, thereby enforcing an alternative conformation of the polyproline-containing nascent chain, which allows a favorable substrate geometry for peptide bond formation.

Huter, P., Arenz, S., Bock, L.V., Frister, J.O., Heuer, A., Peil, L., Starosta, A.L., Peske, F., Nováček, J., Berninghausen, O., Grubmüller, H., Tenson, T., Beckmann, R., Rodina, M.V., Vaiana, A.C., and Wilson D.N.: Structural Basis for Polyproline-Mediated Ribosome Stalling and Rescue by the Translation Elongation Factor EF-P Moll Cell 68, No. 3., 515-527.e6 DOI:

Structural changes in crystal structure of of AfGcHK sensor protein induced by sodium dithionite soaking (PDB ID 5OHF) and conformational changes revealed by HDX-MS. (A) Two protein chains of the heme domain of the sensor protein observed in crystal structure including alternative B (yellow) occurring with dithionite soaking. (B) Conformational changes revealed by HDX-MS after 60 min of deuteration of the full-length AfGcHK proteins visualized on the protein structure. Differences between the Fe(III)-OH- form (active) and inactive Fe(II) form are color coded: grey - no difference, red - higher and blue - lower levels of deuteration.

Heme-Containing Sensor Proteins Group of Markéta Martínková

Laboratory of Structure and function of biomolecules, Jan Dohnálek

Laboratory of Structural Biology and Cell Signaling, Petr Man


The heme-based oxygen sensor histidine kinase AfGcHK is part of a two-component signal transduction system in bacteria. O2 binding to the Fe(II) heme complex of its N-terminal globin domain strongly stimulates autophosphorylation at His-183 in its C-terminal kinase domain. The 6-coordinate heme Fe(III)-OH- and -CN- complexes of AfGcHK are also active, but the 5-coordinate heme Fe(II) complex and the heme-free apo-form are inactive. The crystal structures of the isolated dimeric globin domains of the active Fe(III)-CN- and inactive 5-coordinate Fe(II) forms were determined, revealing striking structural differences on the heme-proximal side of the globin domain. Using hydrogen/deuterium exchange coupled with mass spectrometry (HDX–MS) the intramolecular signal transduction mechanisms was investigated in full length AfGcHK.  The results suggest that structural changes at the heme proximal side, the globin domain-dimerization interface, and the ATP-binding site are important in the signal transduction mechanism of AfGcHK. For the first time, the conformational changes associated with signal transduction were studied in a full-length globin-coupled oxygen sensor protein and linked to directly observed structural changes in the globin domain.


Stranava, M.; Man, P; Skálová, T.; Kolenko, P; Blaha, J.; Fojtikova, V .; Martínek, V.; Dohnálek, J.; Lengalova, A.; Rosůlek, M.; Shimizu, T.; Martínková, M.: Coordination and redox state-dependent structural changes of the heme-based oxygen sensor AfGcHK associated with intraprotein signal transduction. J. Biol. Chem. first Published on November 1, 2017, doi: 10.1074/jbc.M117.817023jbc.M117.817023

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