Xiaofeng Li

Yale-New Haven Hospital, New Haven, Connecticut, United States

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Publications (5)22.15 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Cerebral cavernous malformations (CCM) are neurovascular dysplasias affecting up to 0.5% of the population. Mutations in the CCM2 gene are associated with acquisition of CCM. We identify a previously uncharacterized domain at the C-terminus of CCM2 and determine its 1.9 Å resolution crystal structure. Because this domain is structurally homologous to the N-terminal domain of harmonin, we name it the CCM2 harmonin-homology domain or HHD. CCM2 HHD is observed in two conformations, and we employ analytical ultracentrifugation to test its oligomerization. Additionally, CCM2 HHD contains an unusually long 13-residue 3(10) helix. This study provides the first structural characterization of CCM2. STRUCTURED SUMMARY OF PROTEIN INTERACTIONS: CCM2bindstoCCM3bypull down(View interaction) CCM2andCCM2bindbyx-ray crystallography(View interaction) CCM2andCCM2bindbymolecular sieving(View interaction).
    FEBS letters 12/2012; · 3.54 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: β-Parvin is a cytoplasmic adaptor protein that localizes to focal adhesions where it interacts with integrin-linked kinase and is involved in linking integrin receptors to the cytoskeleton. It has been reported that despite high sequence similarity to α-parvin, β-parvin does not bind paxillin, suggesting distinct interactions and cellular functions for these two closely related parvins. Here, we reveal that β-parvin binds directly and specifically to leucine-aspartic acid repeat (LD) motifs in paxillin via its C-terminal calponin homology (CH2) domain. We present the co-crystal structure of β-parvin CH2 domain in complex with paxillin LD1 motif to 2.9 Å resolution and find that the interaction is similar to that previously observed between α-parvin and paxillin LD1. We also present crystal structures of unbound β-parvin CH2 domain at 2.1 Å and 2.0 Å resolution that show significant conformational flexibility in the N-terminal α-helix, suggesting an induced fit upon paxillin binding. We find that β-parvin has specificity for the LD1, LD2, and LD4 motifs of paxillin, with K(D) values determined to 27, 42, and 73 μm, respectively, by surface plasmon resonance. Furthermore, we show that proper localization of β-parvin to focal adhesions requires both the paxillin and integrin-linked kinase binding sites and that paxillin is important for early targeting of β-parvin. These studies provide the first molecular details of β-parvin binding to paxillin and help define the requirements for β-parvin localization to focal adhesions.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 08/2012; 287(39):32566-77. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cerebral cavernous malformations (CCMs) affect 0.1-0.5% of the population resulting in leaky vasculature and severe neurological defects. KRIT1 (Krev interaction trapped-1) mutations associate with ∼40% of familial CCMs. KRIT1 is an effector of Ras-related protein 1 (Rap1) GTPase. Rap1 relocalizes KRIT1 from microtubules to cell membranes to impact integrin activation, potentially important for CCM pathology. We report the 1.95 Å co-crystal structure of KRIT1 FERM domain in complex with Rap1. Rap1-KRIT1 interaction encompasses an extended surface, including Rap1 Switch I and II and KRIT1 FERM F1 and F2 lobes. Rap1 binds KRIT1-F1 lobe using a GTPase-ubiquitin-like fold interaction but binds KRIT1-F2 lobe by a novel interaction. Point mutagenesis confirms the interaction. High similarity between KRIT1-F2/F3 and talin is revealed. Additionally, the mechanism for FERM domains acting as GTPase effectors is suggested. Finally, structure-based alignment of each lobe suggests classification of FERM domains as ERM-like and TMFK-like (talin-myosin-FAK-KRIT-like) and that FERM lobes resemble domain "modules."
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 05/2012; 287(26):22317-27. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cerebral cavernous malformation (CCM) is a disease that affects between 0.1 and 0.5% of the human population, with mutations in CCM3 accounting for ~ 15% of the autosomal dominant form of the disease. We recently reported that CCM3 contains an N-terminal dimerization domain (CCM3D) and a C-terminal focal adhesion targeting (FAT) homology domain. Intermolecular protein-protein interactions of CCM3 are mediated by a highly conserved surface on the FAT homology domain and are affected by CCM3 truncations in the human disease. Here we report the crystal structures of CCM3 in complex with three different leucine-aspartate repeat (LD) motifs (LD1, LD2, and LD4) from the scaffolding protein paxillin, at 2.8, 2.7, and 2.5 Å resolution. We show that CCM3 binds LD motifs using the highly conserved hydrophobic patch 1 (HP1) and that this binding is similar to the binding of focal adhesion kinase and Pyk2 FAT domains to paxillin LD motifs. We further show by surface plasmon resonance that CCM3 binds paxillin LD motifs with affinities in the micromolar range, similar to FAK family FAT domains. Finally, we show that endogenous CCM3 and paxillin co-localize in mouse cerebral pericytes. These studies provide a molecular-level framework to investigate the protein-protein interactions of CCM3.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 06/2011; 286(29):26138-47. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: CCM3 mutations are associated with cerebral cavernous malformation (CCM), a disease affecting 0.1-0.5% of the human population. CCM3 (PDCD10, TFAR15) is thought to form a CCM complex with CCM1 and CCM2; however, the molecular basis for these interactions is not known. We have determined the 2.5 A crystal structure of CCM3. This structure shows an all alpha-helical protein containing two domains, an N-terminal dimerization domain with a fold not previously observed, and a C-terminal focal adhesion targeting (FAT)-homology domain. We show that CCM3 binds CCM2 via this FAT-homology domain and that mutation of a highly conserved FAK-like hydrophobic pocket (HP1) abrogates CCM3-CCM2 interaction. This CCM3 FAT-homology domain also interacts with paxillin LD motifs using the same surface, and partial CCM3 co-localization with paxillin in cells is lost on HP1 mutation. Disease-related CCM3 truncations affect the FAT-homology domain suggesting a role for the FAT-homology domain in the etiology of CCM.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 07/2010; 285(31):24099-107. · 4.65 Impact Factor