Many important proteins undergo pH-dependent conformational changes resulting in “on-off” switches for protein function, which are essential for regulation of life processes and have wide application potential. Here, we report a pair of cellulosomal assembly modules, comprising a cohesin and a dockerin from Clostridium acetobutylicum, which interact together following a unique pH-dependent switch between two functional sites rather than on-off states. The two cohesin-binding sites on the dockerin are switched from one to the other at pH 4.8 and 7.5 with a 180° rotation of the bound dockerin. Combined analysis by nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, crystal structure determination, mutagenesis, and isothermal titration calorimetry elucidates the chemical and structural mechanism of the pH-dependent switching of the binding sites. The pH-dependent dual-binding-site switch not only represents an elegant example of biological regulation but also provides a new approach for developing pH-dependent protein devices and biomaterials beyond an on-off switch for biotechnological applications.
|State||Published - 23 Oct 2020|