ATP binding cassette (ABC) transporters utilize the energy of ATP hydrolysis to uni-direc-tionally transport substrates across cell membrane. ATP hydrolysis occurs at the nucleo-tide-binding domain (NBD) dimer interface of ABC transporters, whereas substrate translocation takes place at the translocation pathway between the transmembrane domains (TMDs), which is more than 30 angstroms away from the NBD dimer interface. This raises the question of how the hydrolysis energy released at NBDs is " transmitted " to trigger the conformational changes at TMDs. Using molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, we studied the post-hydrolysis state of the vitamin B 12 importer BtuCD. Totally 3-μs MD tra-jectories demonstrate a predominantly asymmetric arrangement of the NBD dimer interface, with the ADP-bound site disrupted and the ATP-bound site preserved in most of the trajecto-ries. TMDs response to ATP hydrolysis by separation of the L-loops and opening of the cyto-plasmic gate II, indicating that hydrolysis of one ATP could facilitate substrate translocation by opening the cytoplasmic end of translocation pathway. It was also found that motions of the L-loops and the cytoplasmic gate II are coupled with each other through a contiguous interaction network involving a conserved Asn83 on the extended stretch preceding TM3 helix plus the cytoplasmic end of TM2/6/7 helix bundle. These findings entail a TMD-NBD communication mechanism for type II ABC importers.
Pan, C., Weng, J., & Wang, W. (2016). ATP hydrolysis induced conformational changes in the Vitamin B12 Transporter BtuCD Revealed by MD simulations. PLoS ONE, 11(11). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0166980