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Frontiers in Chemistry


ribosome, polyoxotungstate, Dawson cluster, H-bonding, protein oxometalate interactions, double Dawson cluster


The polyoxometalate P2W18O626-, the Wells-Dawson cluster, stabilized the ribosome sufficiently for the crystallographers to solve the phase problem and improve the structural resolution. In the following we characterize the interaction of the Wells-Dawson cluster with the ribosome small subunit. There are 14 different P2W18O626- clusters interacting with the ribosome, and the types of interactions range from one simple residue interaction to complex association of multiple sites including backbone interactions with a Wells-Dawson cluster. Although well-documented that bridging oxygen atoms are the main basic sites on other polyoxometalate interaction with most proteins reported, the W=O groups are the main sites of the Wells-Dawson cluster interacting with the ribosome. Furthermore, the peptide chain backbone on the ribosome host constitutes the main sites that associate with the Wells-Dawson cluster. In this work we investigate the potential of one representative pair of closely-located Wells-Dawson clusters being a genuine Double Wells-Dawson cluster. We found that the Double Wells-Dawson structure on the ribosome is geometrically sound and in line with other Double Wells-Dawson clusters previously observed in the solid state and solution. This information suggests that the Double Wells-Dawson structure on the ribosome is real and contribute to characterization of this particular structure of the ribosome.

Funding Source

DC thanks Colorado State University and the Arthur Cope Foundation for partial support. CM acknowledges the support of Illinois State University. IS-L was supported by a grant from the Fulbright Scholars Program.




First published in Frontiers in Chemistry, volume 7 (2019).

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice.

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