FleN, a P loop ATPase is vital for maintaining a monotrichous phenotype in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. FleN exhibits antagonistic activity against FleQ, the master transcriptional regulator of flagellar genes. Crystal structures of FleN in the apo form (1.66 Å) and in complex with β,γ-imidoadenosine 5′-triphosphate (1.55 Å) reveal that it undergoes drastic conformational changes on ATP binding to attain a structure capable of dimerization. Mutations of the residues that stabilize the binding of ATP were defective in their ability to dimerize and do not inhibit ATP hydrolysis by FleQ. Conversely, the catalytic mutant of FleN, was an efficient inhibitor. These observations posit that the dimer is the functional form of FleN and it is nucleotide binding and not hydrolysis by FleN that is necessary to exert an antagonistic effect against FleQ. Our study shows that ATP-induced dimerization may be a strategy to achieve reversible inhibition of FleQ to fine-tune the function of this activator to an optimal level.
Chanchal, Banerjee, P., & Jain, D. (2017). ATP-Induced Structural Remodeling in the Antiactivator FleN Enables Formation of the Functional Dimeric Form. Structure, 25(2), 243–252. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.str.2016.11.022