The dimerization mechanism of LIS1 and its implication for proteins containing the LisH motif.
ABSTRACT Miller-Dieker lissencephaly, or "smooth-brain" is a debilitating genetic developmental syndrome of the cerebral cortex, and is linked to mutations in the Lis1 gene. The LIS1 protein contains a so-called LisH motif at the N terminus, followed by a coiled-coil region and a seven WD-40 repeat forming beta-propeller structure. In vivo and in vitro, LIS1 is a dimer, and the dimerization is mediated by the N-terminal fragment and is essential for the protein's biological function. The recently determined crystal structure of the murine LIS1 N-terminal fragment encompassing residues 1-86 (N-LIS1) revealed that the LisH motif forms a tightly associated homodimer with a four-helix antiparallel bundle core, while the parallel coiled-coil situated downstream is stabilized by three canonical heptad repeats. This homodimer is uniquely asymmetric because of a distinct kink in one of the helices. Because the LisH motif is widespread among many proteins, some of which are implicated in human diseases, we investigated in detail the mechanism of N-LIS1 dimerization. We found that dimerization is dependent on both the LisH motif and the residues downstream of it, including the first few turns of the helix. We also have found that the coiled-coil does not contribute to dimerization, but instead is very labile and can adopt both supercoiled and helical conformations. These observations suggest that the presence of the LisH motif alone is not sufficient for high-affinity homodimerization and that other structural elements are likely to play an important role in this large family of proteins. The observed lability of the coiled-coil fragment in LIS1 is most likely of functional importance.
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ABSTRACT: The human DDB1-CUL4 ASSOCIATED FACTOR (DCAF) proteins have been reported to interact directly with UV-DAMAGED DNA BINDING PROTEIN1 (DDB1) through the WDxR motif in their WD40 domain and function as substrate-recognition receptors for CULLIN4-based E3 ubiquitin ligases. Here, we identified and characterized a homolog of human DCAF1/VprBP in Arabidopsis thaliana. Yeast two-hybrid analysis demonstrated the physical interaction between DCAF1 and DDB1 from Arabidopsis, which is likely mediated via the WD40 domain of DCAF1 that contains two WDxR motifs. Moreover, coimmunoprecipitation assays showed that DCAF1 associates with DDB1, RELATED TO UBIQUITIN-modified CUL4, and the COP9 signalosome in vivo but not with CULLIN-ASSOCIATED and NEDDYLATION-DISSOCIATED1, CONSTITUTIVE PHOTOMORPHOGENIC1 (COP1), or the COP10-DET1-DDB1 complex, supporting the existence of a distinct Arabidopsis CUL4 E3 ubiquitin ligase, the CUL4-DDB1-DCAF1 complex. Transient expression of fluorescently tagged DCAF1, DDB1, and CUL4 in onion epidermal cells showed their colocalization in the nucleus, consistent with the notion that the CUL4-DDB1-DCAF1 complex functions as a nuclear E3 ubiquitin ligase. Genetic and phenotypic analysis of two T-DNA insertion mutants of DCAF1 showed that embryonic development of the dcaf1 homozygote is arrested at the globular stage, indicating that DCAF1 is essential for plant embryogenesis. Reducing the levels of DCAF1 leads to diverse developmental defects, implying that DCAF1 might be involved in multiple developmental pathways.The Plant Cell 07/2008; 20(6):1437-55. DOI:10.1105/tpc.108.058891 · 9.58 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Prostate cancer is a frequently diagnosed malignancy which ranges from an indolent asymptomatic tumour to an aggressive, rapidly lethal systemic disease. Determination of chromosomal, genetic and epigenetic alterations associated with prostate carcinogenesis have led to the characterisation of functional consequences of these alterations, thereby elucidating pathways contributing to malignant growth that can be utilised clinically and therapeutically. FLJ22318 is a novel hypothetical protein that was identified by yeast two-hybrid analysis to interact with the prostatic homeodomain protein, NKX3-1. Expression of NKX3-1 is largely restricted to epithelial cells of the adult prostate where it is involved in maintaining the prostatic phenotype, while NKX3-1 expression is reduced or absent in prostate tumours. In contrast, FLJ22318 expression is documented in cDNA libraries derived from a variety of human adult and foetal tissues including the prostate, suggesting that it may be ubiquitously expressed and that it potentially interacts with a number of proteins in addition to NKX3-1. FLJ22318 expression is undocumented in human prostate tumours. Bioinformatic analyses have postulated multiple FLJ22318 mRNA transcripts however the proposed open reading frames encoded by these transcripts predict the FLJ22318 protein to contain three strong protein-protein interaction domains, a Lissencephaly type-1-like homology (LisH), a C-terminal to LisH (CTLH) and a CT11-RanBPM (CRA) domain. Of the 44 single nucleotide polymorphisms identified within the FLJ22318 gene, none are located within the protein coding region suggesting that FLJ22318 may be critical for cell survival and/or function. Comparison of the amino acid sequence between human FLJ22318 and its orthologues in a diverse range of mammalian species identified >97% sequence homology, providing further strong evidence of the critical cellular function of FLJ22318. To characterise the biological activity of FLJ22318 in prostate cancer cells, the FLJ22318 coding region was amplified by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and ligated into mammalian and bacterial expression vectors to encode V5-, myc-, GFP-, HA-, and GST-FLJ22318 fusion proteins. Interaction between FLJ22318 and NKX3-1 was confirmed using (reverse) yeast two-hybrid, GST pull-down and co-immunoprecipitation assays. These data were supported by confocal microscopy which demonstrated the perinuclear and nuclear co-localisation of FLJ22318 and NKX3-1 in prostate cancer cells. Northern blotting identified expression of ~2Kb and ~4Kb FLJ22318 mRNA's in prostate cancer cell lines, which was consistent with bioinformatic analyses of mRNA species. Transfection of prostate cancer cells to overexpress FLJ22318 did not alter endogenous NKX3-1 levels, however FLJ22318 exhibited transcriptional repressor function on an NKX3-1 responsive element and increased NKX3-1 transcriptional repressor activity on this element. To further investigate FLJ22318 function, additional yeast two-hybrid analyses were performed in prostate cancer cells to identify potential FLJ22318 binding proteins. These studies isolated cDNA's encoding 33 different proteins involved in cell metabolism and apoptosis as well as transcriptional regulators associated with control of cellular proliferation. One of the candidate FLJ22318 interactors, protein kinase, interferon-inducible double stranded RNA dependent activator (PRKRA/PACT) was shown using confocal microscopy to extensively co-localise with FLJ22318 in the cytoplasm and perinuclear regions of prostate cancer cells. Preliminary co-immunoprecipitation and GST pull-down assays have provided additional evidence of the interaction of PRKRA and FLJ22318. Results of this thesis have generated important information characterising the structure of the FLJ22318 gene and protein, the interaction between FLJ22318 and NKX3-1 and the potential functions of FLJ22318 in prostate cancer cells. As the FLJ22318 gene is located on 5q35, a chromosomal region frequently disrupted in a variety of tumours, future studies of the biological activity of FLJ22318 will clarify its normal cellular functions and its contribution to tumorigenesis or malignant progression in the prostate and in other tissues.