Crystal structure of A. aeolicus argonaute, a site-specific DNA-guided endoribonuclease, provides insights into RISC-mediated mRNA cleavage.
Argonaute (Ago) proteins constitute a key component of the RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC). We report the crystal structure of Aquifex aeolicus Ago (Aa-Ago) together with binding and cleavage studies, which establish this eubacterial Ago as a bona fide guide DNA strand-mediated site-specific RNA endonuclease. We have generated a stereochemically robust model of the complex, where the guide DNA-mRNA duplex is positioned within a basic channel spanning the bilobal interface, such that the 5' phosphate of the guide strand can be anchored in a basic pocket, and the mRNA can be positioned for site-specific cleavage by RNase H-type divalent cation-coordinated catalytic Asp residues of the PIWI domain. Domain swap experiments involving chimeras of human Ago (hAgo1) and cleavage-competent hAgo2 reinforce the role of the PIWI domain in "slicer" activity. We propose a four-step Ago-mediated catalytic cleavage cycle model, which provides distinct perspectives into the mechanism of guide strand-mediated mRNA cleavage within the RISC.
SciCrunch is a data sharing and display platform. Anyone can create a custom portal where they can select searchable subsets of hundreds of data sources, brand their web pages and create their community. SciCrunch will push data updates automatically to all portals on a weekly basis. User communities can also add their own data to scicrunch, however this is not currently a free service.