A structural model of the active ribosome-bound membrane protein insertase YidC

Stephan Wickles, Abhishek Singharoy, Jessica Andreani, Stefan Seemayer, Lukas Bischoff, Otto Berninghausen, Johannes Soeding, Klaus Schulten, Eli O. van der Sluis, Roland Beckmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


The integration of most membrane proteins into the cytoplasmic membrane of bacteria occurs co-translationally. The universally conserved YidC protein mediates this process either individually as a membrane protein insertase, or in concert with the SecY complex. Here, we present a structural model of YidC based on evolutionary co-variation analysis, lipid-versus-protein-exposure and molecular dynamics simulations. The model suggests a distinctive arrangement of the conserved five transmembrane domains and a helical hairpin between transmembrane segment 2 (TM2) and TM3 on the cytoplasmic membrane surface. The model was used for docking into a cryo-electron microscopy reconstruction of a translating YidC-ribosome complex carrying the YidC substrate FOc. This structure reveals how a single copy of YidC interacts with the ribosome at the ribosomal tunnel exit and identifies a site for membrane protein insertion at the YidC protein-lipid interface. Together, these data suggest a mechanism for the co-translational mode of YidC-mediated membrane protein insertion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere03035
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
Issue numberJuly2014
StatePublished - Jul 10 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology


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