Type IV secretion systems are large nanomachines assembled across the bacterial cell envelope for effector translocation and conjugation. VirB10 traverses the inner and outer membranes, sensing cellular signals for coordinating the conformational switch for pilus biogenesis and/or secretion. Mutations uncoupling secretion from pilus biogenesis were identified in Agrobacterium tumefaciens VirB10 including a gating defect mutation G272R that made VirB10 unresponsive to intracellular ATP, causing unregulated secretion of VirE2 in a contact-independent manner. Comparative long-timescale molecular dynamics of the wild type and G272R mutant of the A. tumefaciens VirB10CTD tetradecamer reveals how the G272R mutation locks the oligomer in a rigid conformation by swapping the ionic interactions between the loops from the β-barrel close to the inner leaflet of the outer membrane. This electrostatic switching changes the allosteric communication pathway from the extracellular loop to the base of the barrel, suggesting that the local conformational dynamics in the loops can gate information across VirB10.
|Number of pages||11|
|Early online date||4 Feb 2020|
|Publication status||Published - 25 Feb 2020|