Structural analyses of human thymidylate synthase reveal a site that may control conformational switching between active and inactive states
Date of Issue2017
School of Biological Sciences
Thymidylate synthase (TS) is the sole enzyme responsible for de novo biosynthesis of thymidylate (TMP) and is essential for cell proliferation and survival. Inhibition of human TS (hTS) has been extensively investigated for cancer chemotherapy, but several aspects of its activity and regulation are still uncertain. In this study, we performed comprehensive structural and biophysical studies of hTS using crystallography and thermal shift assay and provided the first detailed structural information on the conformational changes induced by ligand binding to the hTS active site. We found that upon binding of the antifolate agents raltitrexed and nolatrexed, the two insert regions in hTS, the functions of which are unclear, undergo positional shifts toward the catalytic center. We investigated the inactive conformation of hTS and found that the two insert regions are also involved in the conformational transition between the active and inactive state of hTS. Moreover, we identified a ligand-binding site in the dimer interface, suggesting that the cavity in the dimer interface could serve as an allosteric site of hTS to regulate the conformational switching between the active and inactive states. On the basis of these findings, we propose a regulatory mechanism of hTS activity that involves allosteric regulation of interactions of hTS with its own mRNA depending on cellular demands for TMP.
Journal of Biological Chemistry
© 2017 The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc. This paper was published in Journal of Biological Chemistry and is made available as an electronic reprint (preprint) with permission of The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc. The published version is available at: [http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M117.787267]. One print or electronic copy may be made for personal use only. Systematic or multiple reproduction, distribution to multiple locations via electronic or other means, duplication of any material in this paper for a fee or for commercial purposes, or modification of the content of the paper is prohibited and is subject to penalties under law.