Cyclic GMP-AMP containing a unique combination of mixed phosphodiester linkages (2′3′-cGAMP) is an endogenous second messenger molecule that activates the type-I IFN pathway upon binding to the homodimer of the adaptor protein STING on the surface of endoplasmic reticulum membrane. However, the preferential binding of the asymmetric ligand 2′3′-cGAMP to the symmetric dimer of STING represents a physicochemical enigma. Here we show that 2′3′-cGAMP, but not its linkage isomers, adopts an organized free-ligand conformation that resembles the STING-bound conformation and pays low entropy and enthalpy costs in converting into the active conformation. Our results demonstrate that analyses of free-ligand conformations can be as important as analyses of protein conformations in understanding protein-ligand interactions.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|Publication status||Published - Jul 21 2015|
- Ligand conformation
- Phosphodiester linkage
ASJC Scopus subject areas