Prof. Ning Gao published a paper in Nature Communications.
The type II AAA + ATPase Drg1 is a ribosome assembly factor, functioning to release Rlp24 from the pre-60S particle just exported from nucleus, and its activity in can be inhibited by a drug molecule diazaborine. However, molecular mechanisms of Drg1-mediated Rlp24 removal and diazaborine-mediated inhibition are not fully understood. Here, we report Drg1 structures in different nucleotide-binding and benzo-diazaborine treated states. Drg1 hexamers transits between two extreme conformations (planar or helical arrangement of protomers). By forming covalent adducts with ATP molecules in both ATPase domain, benzo-diazaborine locks Drg1 hexamers in a symmetric and non-productive conformation to inhibits both inter-protomer and inter-ring communication of Drg1 hexamers. We also obtained a substrate-engaged mutant Drg1 structure, in which conserved pore-loops form a spiral staircase to interact with the polypeptide through a sequence-independent manner. Structure-based mutagenesis data highlight the functional importance of the pore-loop, the D1-D2 linker and the inter-subunit signaling motif of Drg1, which share similar regulatory mechanisms with p97. Our results suggest that Drg1 may function as an unfoldase that threads a substrate protein within the pre-60S particle.