Structures of the pleiotropic translational regulator Hfq and an Hfq-RNA complex: a bacterial Sm-like protein.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

In prokaryotes, Hfq regulates translation by modulating the structure of numerous RNA molecules by binding preferentially to A/U-rich sequences. To elucidate the mechanisms of target recognition and translation regulation by Hfq, we determined the crystal structures of the Staphylococcus aureus Hfq and an Hfq-RNA complex to 1.55 and 2.71 A resolution, respectively. The structures reveal that Hfq possesses the Sm-fold previously observed only in eukaryotes and archaea. However, unlike these heptameric Sm proteins, Hfq forms a homo-hexameric ring. The Hfq-RNA structure reveals that the single-stranded hepta-oligoribonucleotide binds in a circular conformation around a central basic cleft, whereby Tyr42 residues from adjacent subunits stack with six of the bases, and Gln8, outside the Sm motif, provides key protein-base contacts. Such binding suggests a mechanism for Hfq function.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Schumacher, MA; Pearson, RF; Møller, T; Valentin-Hansen, P; Brennan, RG

Published Date

  • July 1, 2002

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 21 / 13

Start / End Page

  • 3546 - 3556

PubMed ID

  • 12093755

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC126077

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0261-4189

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1093/emboj/cdf322


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England