The molecular recognition of kink-turn structure by the L7Ae class of proteins

Lin Huang, David M.J. Lilley (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)
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L7Ae is a member of a protein family that binds kink-turns (k-turns) in many functional RNA species. We have solved the X-ray crystal structure of the near-consensus sequence Kt-7 of Haloarcula marismortui bound by Archaeoglobus fulgidus L7Ae at 2.3-Å resolution. We also present a structure of Kt-7 in the absence of bound protein at 2.2-Å resolution. As a result, we can describe a general mode of recognition of k-turn structure by the L7Ae family proteins. The protein makes interactions in the widened major groove on the outer face of the k-turn. Two regions of the protein are involved. One is an α-helix that enters the major groove of the NC helix, making both nonspecific backbone interactions and specific interactions with the guanine nucleobases of the conserved G•A pairs. A hydrophobic loop makes close contact with the L1 and L2 bases, and a glutamate side chain hydrogen bonds with L1. Taken together, these interactions are highly selective for the structure of the k-turn and suggest how conformational selection of the folded k-turn occurs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1703-1710
Number of pages8
Issue number12
Early online date22 Oct 2013
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013


  • K-turn motif
  • RNA structure
  • RNA-protein recognition
  • X-ray crystallography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology


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