Crystal structure of hyperthermophilic archaeal initiation factor 5A: A homologue of eukaryotic initiation factor 5A (eIF-5A)

Min Yao, Akiko Ohsawa, Shingo Kikukawa, Isao Tanaka, Makoto Kimura

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38 Citations (Scopus)


Eukaryotic initiation factor 5A (eIF-5A) is ubiquitous in eukaryotes and archaebacteria and is essential for cell proliferation and survival. The crystal structure of the eIF-5A homologue (PhoIF-5A) from a hyperthermophilic archaebacterium Pyrococcus horikoshii OT3 was determined at 2.0 Å resolution by the molecular replacement method. PhoIF-5A is predominantly composed of β-strands comprising two distinct folding domains, an N-domain (residues 1-69) and a C-domain (residues 72-138), connected by a short linker peptide (residues 70-71). The N-domain has an SH3-like barrel, while the C-domain folds in an (oligonucleotide/oligosaccharide binding) OB fold. Comparison of the structure of PhoIF-5A with those of archaeal homologues from Methanococcus jannaschii and Pyrobaculum aerophilum showed that the N-domains could be superimposed with root mean square deviation (rmsd) values of 0.679 and 0.624 Å, while the C-domains gave higher values of 1.824 and 1.329 Å, respectively. Several lines of evidence suggest that eIF-5A functions as a biomodular protein capable of interacting with protein and nucleic acid. The surface representation of electrostatic potential shows that PhoIF-5A has a concave surface with positively charged residues between the N- and C-domains. In addition, a flexible long hairpin loop, L1 (residues 33-41), with a hypusine modification site is positively charged, protruding from the N-domain. In contrast, the opposite side of the concave surface at the C-domain is mostly negatively charged. These findings led to the speculation that the concave surface and loop L1 at the N-domain may be involved in RNA binding, while the opposite side of the concave surface in the C-domain may be involved in protein interaction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-81
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of biochemistry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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