Research Article

The Crystal Structure of the Signal Recognition Particle in Complex with Its Receptor

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Science  18 Feb 2011:
Vol. 331, Issue 6019, pp. 881-886
DOI: 10.1126/science.1196473

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Abstract

Cotranslational targeting of membrane and secretory proteins is mediated by the universally conserved signal recognition particle (SRP). Together with its receptor (SR), SRP mediates the guanine triphosphate (GTP)–dependent delivery of translating ribosomes bearing signal sequences to translocons on the target membrane. Here, we present the crystal structure of the SRP:SR complex at 3.9 angstrom resolution and biochemical data revealing that the activated SRP:SR guanine triphosphatase (GTPase) complex binds the distal end of the SRP hairpin RNA where GTP hydrolysis is stimulated. Combined with previous findings, these results suggest that the SRP:SR GTPase complex initially assembles at the tetraloop end of the SRP RNA and then relocalizes to the opposite end of the RNA. This rearrangement provides a mechanism for coupling GTP hydrolysis to the handover of cargo to the translocon.

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