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Bulletin of the Korean Chemical Society (BKCS)

ISSN 0253-2964(Print)
ISSN 1229-5949(Online)
Volume 29, Number 2
BKCSDE 29(2)
February 20, 2008 

Structural Basis of Functional Conversion of a Floral Repressor to an Activator: A Molecular Dynamics Simulation Study
Sukki Kang, Juyong Lee, Myeong Sup Lee, Chaok Seok*
FLOWERING LOCUS T, TERMINAL FLOWER 1, Floral regulators, Molecular dynamics simulation, Hydrogen bond
FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT) and TERMINAL FLOWER 1 (TFL1) in Arabidopsis are homologous proteins that perform opposite functions: FT is an activator of flowering, and TFL1 is a repressor. It was shown before that change of a single amino acid (His88) of TFL1 to the corresponding amino acid (Tyr) of FT is enough to convert the floral repressor to an activator. However, structural basis of the functional conversion has not been understood. In our molecular dynamics simulations on modified TFL1 proteins, a hydrogen bond present in native TFL1 between the His88 residue and a residue (Asp144) in a neighboring external loop became broken by change of His88 to Tyr. This breakage induced conformational change of the external loop whose structure was previously reported to be another key functional determinant. These findings reveal that the two important factors determining the functional specificities of the floral regulators, the key amino acid (His88) and the external loop, are correlated, and the key amino acid determines the functional specificity indirectly by affecting the conformation of the external loop.
408 - 412
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