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Temperature-resolved Cryo-EM Uncovers Structural Bases of Temperature-dependent Enzyme Functions
C.-Y. Chen*, Y.-C. Chang, B.-L. Lin, C.-H. Huang, and M.-D. Tsai*
Protein functions are temperature-dependent, but protein structures are usually solved at a single (often low) temperature because of limitations on the conditions of crystal growth or protein vitrification. Here we demonstrate the feasibility of solving cryo-EM structures of proteins vitrified at high temperatures, solve 12 structures of an archaeal ketol-acid reductoisomerase (KARI) vitrified at 4–70 °C, and show that structures of both the Mg2+ form (KARI:2Mg2+) and its ternary complex (KARI:2Mg2+:NADH:inhibitor) are temperature-dependent in correlation with the temperature dependence of enzyme activity. Furthermore, structural analyses led to dissection of the induced-fit mechanism into ligand-induced and temperature-induced effects and to capture of temperature-resolved intermediates of the temperature-induced conformational change. The results also suggest that it is preferable to solve cryo-EM structures of protein complexes at functional temperatures. These studies should greatly expand the landscapes of protein structure–function relationships and enhance the mechanistic analysis of enzymatic functions.