The RET receptor tyrosine kinase is essential to vertebrate development and implicated in multiple human diseases. RET binds a cell surface bipartite ligand comprising a GDNF family ligand and a GFR? coreceptor, resulting in RET transmembrane signaling. We present a hybrid structural model, derived from electron microscopy (EM) and low-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) data, of the RET extracellular domain (RET(ECD)), GDNF, and GFR?1 ternary complex, defining the basis for ligand recognition. RET(ECD) envelopes the dimeric ligand complex through a composite binding site comprising four discrete contact sites. The GFR?1-mediated contacts are crucial, particularly close to the invariant RET calcium-binding site, whereas few direct contacts are made by GDNF, explaining how distinct ligand/coreceptor pairs are accommodated. The RET(ECD) cysteine-rich domain (CRD) contacts both ligand components and makes homotypic membrane-proximal interactions occluding three different antibody epitopes. Coupling of these CRD-mediated interactions suggests models for ligand-induced RET activation and ligand-independent oncogenic deregulation.
Loading of the six related Minichromosome Maintenance (MCM) proteins as head-to-head double hexamers during DNA replication origin licensing is crucial for ensuring once-per-cell-cycle DNA replication in eukaryotic cells. Assembly of these prereplicative complexes (pre-RCs) requires the Origin Recognition Complex (ORC), Cdc6, and Cdt1. ORC, Cdc6, and MCM are members of the AAA+ family of ATPases, and pre-RC assembly requires ATP hydrolysis. Here we show that ORC and Cdc6 mutants defective in ATP hydrolysis are competent for origin licensing. However, ATP hydrolysis by Cdc6 is required to release nonproductive licensing intermediates. We show that ATP binding stabilizes the wild-type MCM hexamer. Moreover, by analyzing MCM containing mutant subunits, we show that ATP binding and hydrolysis by MCM are required for Cdt1 release and double hexamer formation. This work alters our view of how ATP is used by licensing factors to assemble pre-RCs.
Eukaryotic DNA replication initiates from multiple replication origins. To ensure each origin fires just once per cell cycle, initiation is divided into two biochemically discrete steps: the Mcm2-7 helicase is first loaded into prereplicative complexes (pre-RCs) as an inactive double hexamer by the origin recognition complex (ORC), Cdt1 and Cdc6; the helicase is then activated by a set of "firing factors." Here, we show that plasmids containing pre-RCs assembled with purified proteins support complete and semi-conservative replication in extracts from budding yeast cells overexpressing firing factors. Replication requires cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) and Dbf4-dependent kinase (DDK). DDK phosphorylation of Mcm2-7 does not by itself promote separation of the double hexamer, but is required for the recruitment of firing factors and replisome components in the extract. Plasmid replication does not require a functional replication origin; however, in the presence of competitor DNA and limiting ORC concentrations, replication becomes origin-dependent in this system. These experiments indicate that Mcm2-7 double hexamers can be precursors of replication and provide insight into the nature of eukaryotic DNA replication origins.
The retinoblastoma susceptibility protein RB1 is a key regulator of cell proliferation and fate. RB1 operates through nucleating the formation of multi-component protein complexes involved in the regulation of gene transcription, chromatin structure and protein stability. Phosphorylation of RB1 by cyclin-dependent kinases leads to conformational alterations and inactivates the capability of RB1 to bind partner protein. Using small angle X-ray scattering in combination with single particle analysis of transmission electron microscope images of negative-stained material we present the first three-dimensional reconstruction of non-phosphorylated RB1 revealing an extended architecture and deduce the domain arrangement within the molecule. Phosphorylation results in an overt alteration of the molecular shape and dimensions, consistent with the transition to a compact globular architecture. The work presented provides what is to our knowledge the first description of the relative domain arrangement in active RB1 and predicts the molecular movement that leads to RB1 inactivation following protein phosphorylation.
The cytosolic chaperonin CCT is a 1-MDa protein-folding machine essential for eukaryotic life. The CCT interactome shows involvement in folding and assembly of a small range of proteins linked to essential cellular processes such as cytoskeleton assembly and cell-cycle regulation. CCT has a classic chaperonin architecture, with two heterogeneous 8-membered rings stacked back-to-back, enclosing a folding cavity. However, the mechanism by which CCT assists folding is distinct from other chaperonins, with no hydrophobic wall lining a potential Anfinsen cage, and a sequential rather than concerted ATP hydrolysis mechanism. We have solved the crystal structure of yeast CCT in complex with actin at 3.8 Å resolution, revealing the subunit organisation and the location of discrete patches of co-evolving signature residues that mediate specific interactions between CCT and its substrates. The intrinsic asymmetry is revealed by the structural individuality of the CCT subunits, which display unique configurations, substrate binding properties, ATP-binding heterogeneity and subunit-subunit interactions. The location of the evolutionarily conserved N-terminus of Cct5 on the outside of the barrel, confirmed by mutational studies, is unique to eukaryotic cytosolic chaperonins.
The evolutionary conserved COP9 signalosome (CSN), a large multisubunit complex, plays a central role in regulating ubiquitination and cell signaling. Here we report recombinant insect cell expression and two-step purification of human CSN and demonstrate its functional assembly. We further obtain a three-dimensional structure of both native and recombinant CSN using electron microscopy and single particle analysis. Antibody labeling of CSN5 and segmentation of the structure suggest a likely subunit distribution and the architecture of its helical repeat subunits is revealed. We compare the structure of CSN with its homologous complexes, the 26S proteasome lid and eIF3, and propose a conserved architecture implying similar assembly pathways and/or conserved substrate interaction modes.
The licensing of eukaryotic DNA replication origins, which ensures once-per-cell-cycle replication, involves the loading of six related minichromosome maintenance proteins (Mcm2-7) into prereplicative complexes (pre-RCs). Mcm2-7 forms the core of the replicative DNA helicase, which is inactive in the pre-RC. The loading of Mcm2-7 onto DNA requires the origin recognition complex (ORC), Cdc6, and Cdt1, and depends on ATP. We have reconstituted Mcm2-7 loading with purified budding yeast proteins. Using biochemical approaches and electron microscopy, we show that single heptamers of Cdt1*Mcm2-7 are loaded cooperatively and result in association of stable, head-to-head Mcm2-7 double hexamers connected via their N-terminal rings. DNA runs through a central channel in the double hexamer, and, once loaded, Mcm2-7 can slide passively along double-stranded DNA. Our work has significant implications for understanding how eukaryotic DNA replication origins are chosen and licensed, how replisomes assemble during initiation, and how unwinding occurs during DNA replication.
Active muscles generate substantial mechanical forces by the contraction/relaxation cycle, and, to maintain an ordered state, they require molecular structures of extraordinary stability. These forces are sensed and buffered by unusually long and elastic filament proteins with highly repetitive domain arrays. Members of the myomesin protein family function as molecular bridges that connect major filament systems in the central M-band of muscle sarcomeres, which is a central locus of passive stress sensing. To unravel the mechanism of molecular elasticity in such filament-connecting proteins, we have determined the overall architecture of the complete C-terminal immunoglobulin domain array of myomesin by X-ray crystallography, electron microscopy, solution X-ray scattering, and atomic force microscopy. Our data reveal a dimeric tail-to-tail filament structure of about 360 Å in length, which is folded into an irregular superhelical coil arrangement of almost identical ?-helix/domain modules. The myomesin filament can be stretched to about 2.5-fold its original length by reversible unfolding of these linkers, a mechanism that to our knowledge has not been observed previously. Our data explain how myomesin could act as a highly elastic ribbon to maintain the overall structural organization of the sarcomeric M-band. In general terms, our data demonstrate how repetitive domain modules such as those found in myomesin could generate highly elastic protein structures in highly organized cell systems such as muscle sarcomeres.
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