Electrostatic Switching Controls Channel Dynamics of the Sensor Protein VirB10 in A. tumefaciens Type IV Secretion System

Vidya Chandran Darbari, Jonah Ciccone, Jagdish Suresh Patel, Barira Islam, Pratul K. Agarwal, Shozeb Haider

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3271-3281
Number of pages11
JournalACS Omega
Issue number7
Early online date4 Feb 2020
Publication statusPublished - 25 Feb 2020


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