Lindås, AC. Chruszcz, M. Bernander, R. Valegård, K. Structure of crenactin, an archaeal actin homologue active at 90°C. Acta Crystallogr D Biol Crystallogr. 2014 Feb;70(Pt 2):492-500.


The crystal structure of the archaeal actin, crenactin, from the rod-shaped hyperthermophilic (optimal growth at 90°C) crenarchaeon Pyrobaculum calidifontis is reported at 3.35 Å resolution. Despite low amino-acid sequence identity, the three-dimensional structure of the protein monomer is highly similar to those of eukaryotic actin and the bacterial MreB protein. Crenactin-specific features are also evident, as well as elements that are shared between crenactin and eukaryotic actin but are not found in MreB. In the crystal, crenactin monomers form right-handed helices, demonstrating that the protein is capable of forming filament-like structures. Monomer interactions in the helix, as well as interactions between crenactin and ADP in the nucleotide-binding pocket, are resolved at the atomic level and compared with those of actin and MreB. The results provide insights into the structural and functional properties of a heat-stable archaeal actin and contribute to the understanding of the evolution of actin-family proteins in the three domains of life.


Pyrobaculum calidifontis, actin family, crenactin