Erhard Hohenester

Imperial College London, Londinium, England, United Kingdom

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Publications (89)526.7 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The C-type mannose receptor and its homolog Endo180 (or uPARAP, for urokinase plasminogen activator receptor-associated protein) mediate the endocytic uptake of collagen by macrophages and fibroblasts. This process is required for normal tissue remodeling, but also facilitates the growth and dissemination of tumors. We have determined the crystal structure at 2.5 Å resolution of the N-terminal region of Endo180, consisting of a ricin-like domain, a fibronectin type II (FN2) domain, and two C-type lectin (CTL) domains. The L-shaped arrangement of these domains creates a shallow trench spanning the FN2 and CTL1 domains, which was shown by mutagenesis to bind triple-helical and denatured collagen. Small-angle X-ray scattering showed that the L-shaped structure is maintained in solution at neutral and acidic pH, irrespective of calcium ion loading. Collagen binding was equally unaffected by acidic pH, suggesting that collagen release in endosomes is not regulated by changes within the Endo180 N-terminal region.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2015 · Structure
  • Erhard Hohenester
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    ABSTRACT: The extracellular matrix critically controls cell behaviour. Many cell-matrix interactions are mediated by transmembrane receptors of the integrin family. In the last two years, the structural changes resulting from ligand binding to integrins α5β1, αvβ3 and αIIbβ3 have been mapped in unprecedented detail. The structure of integrin αXβ2 has revealed how ligand binding to the α I domain is transmitted to the rest of the ectodomain. The structural characterisation of the cytosolic regulator talin has been continued, revealing how the integrin binding site is blocked in auto-inhibited talin. Finally, structures of the discoidin domain receptors DDR1 and DDR2 have begun to reveal how these atypical receptor tyrosine kinases become activated by the major matrix component collagen.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2014 · Current Opinion in Structural Biology
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    ABSTRACT: Development of neuronal circuits is controlled by evolutionarily conserved axon guidance molecules, including Slits, the repulsive ligands for roundabout (Robo) receptors, and Netrin-1, which mediates attraction through the DCC receptor. We discovered that the Robo3 receptor fundamentally changed its mechanism of action during mammalian evolution. Unlike other Robo receptors, mammalian Robo3 is not a high-affinity receptor for Slits because of specific substitutions in the first immunoglobulin domain. Instead, Netrin-1 selectively triggers phosphorylation of mammalian Robo3 via Src kinases. Robo3 does not bind Netrin-1 directly but interacts with DCC. Netrin-1 fails to attract pontine neurons lacking Robo3, and attraction can be restored in Robo3(-/-) mice by expression of mammalian, but not nonmammalian, Robo3. We propose that Robo3 evolution was key to sculpting the mammalian brain by converting a receptor for Slit repulsion into one that both silences Slit repulsion and potentiates Netrin attraction. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2014 · Neuron
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    ABSTRACT: The dynamic interplay between the extracellular matrix and embryonic stem cells (ESCs) constitutes one of the key steps in understanding stem cell differentiation in vitro. Here we report a biologically-active laminin-111 fragment generated by matrix metalloproteinase 2 (MMP2) processing, which is highly up-regulated during differentiation. We show that the β1-chain-derived fragment interacts via α3β1-integrins, thereby triggering the down-regulation of MMP2 in mouse and human ESCs. Additionally, the expression of MMP9 and E-cadherin is up-regulated in mouse ESCs-key players in the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition. We also demonstrate that the fragment acts through the α3β1-integrin/extracellular matrix metalloproteinase inducer complex. This study reveals a previously unidentified role of laminin-111 in early stem cell differentiation that goes far beyond basement membrane assembly and a mechanism by which an MMP2-cleaved laminin fragment regulates the expression of E-cadherin, MMP2, and MMP9.
    Preview · Article · Apr 2014 · Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
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    ABSTRACT: The discoidin domain receptors, DDR1 and DDR2, are receptor tyrosine kinases that are activated by collagen. DDR activation does not appear to occur by the common mechanism of ligand-induced receptor dimerisation: the DDRs form stable non-covalent dimers in the absence of ligand and ligand-induced autophosphorylation of cytoplasmic tyrosines is unusually slow and sustained. Here we sought to identify functionally important dimer contacts within the extracellular region of DDR1 by using cysteine-scanning mutagenesis. Cysteine substitutions close to the transmembrane domain resulted in receptors that formed covalent dimers with high efficiency, both in the absence and presence of collagen. Enforced covalent dimerisation did not result in constitutive activation and did not affect the ability of collagen to induce receptor autophosphorylation. Cysteines further away from the transmembrane domain were also cross-linked with high efficiency, but some of these mutants could no longer be activated. Furthermore, the extracellular juxtamembrane region of DDR1 tolerated large deletions as well as insertions of flexible segments, with no adverse effect on activation. These findings indicate that the extracellular juxtamembrane region of DDR1 is exceptionally flexible and does not constrain the basal or ligand-activated state of the receptor. DDR1 transmembrane signalling thus appears to occur without conformational coupling through the juxtamembrane region, but requires specific receptor interactions further away from the cell membrane. A plausible mechanism to explain these findings is signalling by DDR1 clusters.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2014 · Journal of Biological Chemistry
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    ABSTRACT: Selectins are a family of adhesion receptors designed for efficient leukocyte tethering to the endothelium under shear. As a key property to resist premature bond disruption, selectin adhesiveness is enhanced by tensile forces that promote the conversion of a bent into an extended conformation of the N-terminal lectin and epidermal growth factor-like domains. Conformation-specific Abs have been invaluable in deciphering the activation mechanism of integrins, but similar reagents are not available for selectins. In this study, we show that the anti-human L-selectin mAbs DREG-55 and LAM1-5 but not DREG-56, DREG-200, or LAM1-1 heterotropically modulate adhesion presumably by stabilizing the extended receptor conformation. Force-free affinity assays, flow chamber, and microkinetic studies reveal a ligand-specific modulation of L-selectin affinity by DREG-55 mAb, resulting in a dramatic decrease of rolling velocity under flow. Furthermore, secondary tethering of polymorphonuclear cells was blocked by DREG-200 but significantly boosted by DREG-55 mAb. The results emphasize the need for a new classification for selectin Abs and introduce the new concept of heterotropic modulation of receptor function.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2014 · The Journal of Immunology
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    ABSTRACT: Decorin, the prototypical small leucine-rich proteoglycan, binds to collagen and thereby regulates collagen assembly into fibrils. The crystal structure of the decorin core protein revealed a tight dimer formed by the association of two monomers via their concave faces (Scott, P. G., McEwan, P. A., Dodd, C. M., Bergmann, E. M., Bishop, P. N., and Bella, J. (2004) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 101, 15633–15638). Whether decorin binds collagen as a dimer has been controversial. Using analytical ultracentrifugation, we determined a dissociation constant of 1.37 ± 0.30 μm for the mouse decorin dimer. Dimerization could be abolished by engineering glycosylation sites into the dimer interface; other interface mutants remained dimeric. The monomeric mutants were as stable as wild-type decorin in thermal unfolding experiments. Mutations on the concave face of decorin abolished collagen binding regardless of whether the mutant proteins retained the ability to dimerize or not. We conclude that the concave face of decorin mediates collagen binding and that the dimer therefore must dissociate to bind collagen.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2013 · Journal of Biological Chemistry
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    ABSTRACT: Propofol is the most important intravenous general anesthetic in current clinical use. It acts by potentiating GABAA (γ-aminobutyric acid type A) receptors, but where it binds to this receptor is not known and has been a matter of some debate. We synthesized a new propofol analog photolabeling reagent whose biological activity is very similar to that of propofol. We confirmed that this reagent labeled known propofol binding sites in human serum albumin that have been identified using X-ray crystallography. Using a combination of protiated and deuterated versions of the reagent to label mammalian receptors in intact membranes, we identified a new binding site for propofol in GABAA receptors consisting of both β3 homopentamers and α1β3 heteropentamers. The binding site is located within the β subunit at the interface between the transmembrane domains and the extracellular domain and lies close to known determinants of anesthetic sensitivity in the transmembrane segments TM1 and TM2.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2013 · Nature Chemical Biology
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    ABSTRACT: The GFOGER motif in collagens (O denotes hydroxyproline) represents a high-affinity binding site for all collagen-binding integrins. Other GxOGER motifs require integrin activation for maximal binding. The E318W mutant of the integrin α2β1 I domain displays a relaxed collagen specificity, typical of an active state. E318W binds more strongly than the wild-type α2 I domain to GMOGER, and forms a 2:1 complex with a homotrimeric, collagen-like, GFOGER peptide. Crystal structure analysis of this complex reveals two E318W I domains, A and B, bound to a single triple helix. The E318W I domains are virtually identical to the collagen-bound wild-type I domain, suggesting that the E318W mutation activates the I domain by destabilising the unligated conformation. E318W I domain A interacts with two collagen chains similarly to wild-type I domain (high-affinity mode). E318W I domain B makes favourable interactions with only one collagen chain (low-affinity mode). This observation suggests that single GxOGER motifs in the heterotrimeric collagens V and IX may support binding of activated integrins.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2013 · PLoS ONE
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    Alan Purvis · Erhard Hohenester
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    ABSTRACT: The polymerisation of laminins into a cell-associated network is a key process in basement membrane assembly. Network formation is mediated by the homologous short arm tips of the laminin heterotrimer, which each consist of a globular laminin N terminal (LN) domain followed by a tandem of laminin-type epidermal growth factor-like (LEa) domains. How the short arms interact in the laminin network is unclear. Here, we have addressed this question by reconstituting laminin network nodes in solution and analysing them by size exclusion chromatography and light scattering. Recombinant LN LEa1-4 fragments of the laminin α1, α2, α5, β1 and γ1 chains were monomeric in solution. The β1 and γ1 fragments formed the only detectable binary complex and ternary complexes of 1:1:1 stoichiometry with all α chain fragments. Ternary complex formation required calcium and did not occur at 4 degrees C, like the polymerisation of full-length laminins. Experiments with chimaeric short arm fragments demonstrated that the LEa2-4 regions of the β1 and γ1 fragments are dispensable for ternary complex formation and an engineered glycan in the β1 LEa1 domain was also tolerated. In contrast, mutation of Ser68 in the β1 LN domain (corresponding to a Pierson syndrome mutation in the closely related β2 chain) abolished ternary complex formation. We conclude that authentic ternary nodes of the laminin network can be reconstituted for structure-function studies.
    Preview · Article · Nov 2012 · Journal of Biological Chemistry
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    Federico Carafoli · Erhard Hohenester
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    ABSTRACT: The discoidin domain receptors, DDR1 and DDR2, are two closely related receptor tyrosine kinases that are activated by triple-helical collagen in a slow and sustained manner. The DDRs have important roles in embryo development and their dysregulation is associated with human diseases, such as fibrosis, arthritis and cancer. The extracellular region of DDRs consists of a collagen-binding discoidin (DS) domain and a DS-like domain. The transmembrane region mediates the ligand-independent dimerisation of DDRs and is connected to the tyrosine kinase domain by an unusually long juxtamembrane domain. The major DDR binding site in fibrillar collagens is a GVMGFO motif (O is hydroxyproline), which is recognised by an amphiphilic trench at the top of the DS domain. How collagen binding leads to DDR activation is not understood. GVMGFO-containing triple-helical peptides activate DDRs with the characteristic slow kinetics, suggesting that the supramolecular structure of collagen is not required. Activation can be blocked allosterically by monoclonal antibodies that bind to the DS-like domain. Thus, collagen most likely causes a conformational change within the DDR dimer, which may lead to the formation of larger DDR clusters. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Emerging recognition and activation mechanisms of receptor tyrosine kinases.
    Preview · Article · Nov 2012 · Biochimica et Biophysica Acta
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    Erhard Hohenester · Peter D Yurchenco
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    ABSTRACT: The heterotrimeric laminins are a defining component of all basement membranes and self-assemble into a cell-associated network. The three short arms of the cross-shaped laminin molecule form the network nodes, with a strict requirement for one α, one β and one γ arm. The globular domain at the end of the long arm binds to cellular receptors, including integrins, α-dystroglycan, heparan sulfates and sulfated glycolipids. Collateral anchorage of the laminin network is provided by the proteoglycans perlecan and agrin. A second network is then formed by type IV collagen, which interacts with the laminin network through the heparan sulfate chains of perlecan and agrin and additional linkage by nidogen. This maturation of basement membranes becomes essential at later stages of embryo development.
    Preview · Article · Oct 2012 · Cell adhesion & migration
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    Federico Carafoli · Sadaf-Ahmahni Hussain · Erhard Hohenester
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    ABSTRACT: The heterotrimeric laminins are a defining component of basement membranes and essential for tissue formation and function in all animals. The three short arms of the cross-shaped laminin molecule are composed of one chain each and their tips mediate the formation of a polymeric network. The structural basis for laminin polymerisation is unknown. We have determined crystal structures of the short-arm tips of the mouse laminin β1 and γ1 chains, which are grossly similar to the previously determined structure of the corresponding α5 chain region. The short-arm tips consist of a laminin N-terminal (LN) domain that is attached like the head of a flower to a rod-like stem formed by tandem laminin-type epidermal growth factor-like (LE) domains. The LN domain is a β-sandwich with elaborate loop regions that differ between chains. The γ1 LN domain uniquely contains a calcium binding site. The LE domains have little regular structure and are stabilised by cysteines that are disulphide-linked 1-3, 2-4, 5-6 and 7-8 in all chains. The LN surface is not conserved across the α, β and γ chains, but within each chain subfamily there is a striking concentration of conserved residues on one face of the β-sandwich, while the opposite face invariably is shielded by glycans. We propose that the extensive conserved patches on the β and γ LN domains mediate the binding of these two chains to each other, and that the α chain LN domain subsequently binds to the composite β-γ surface. Mutations in the laminin β2 LN domain causing Pierson syndrome are likely to impair the folding of the β2 chain or its ability to form network interactions.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2012 · PLoS ONE
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    ABSTRACT: Collagenases of the matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) family play major roles in morphogenesis, tissue repair, and human diseases, but how they recognize and cleave the collagen triple helix is not fully understood. Here, we report temperature-dependent binding of a catalytically inactive MMP-1 mutant (E200A) to collagen through the cooperative action of its catalytic and hemopexin domains. Contact between the two molecules was mapped by screening the Collagen Toolkit peptide library and by hydrogen/deuterium exchange. The crystal structure of MMP-1(E200A) bound to a triple-helical collagen peptide revealed extensive interactions of the 115-Å-long triple helix with both MMP-1 domains. An exosite in the hemopexin domain, which binds the leucine 10 residues C-terminal to the scissile bond, is critical for collagenolysis and represents a unique target for inhibitor development. The scissile bond is not correctly positioned for hydrolysis in the crystallized complex. A productive binding mode is readily modeled, without altering the MMP-1 structure or the exosite interactions, by axial rotation of the collagen homotrimer. Interdomain flexing of the enzyme and a localized excursion of the collagen chain closest to the active site, facilitated by thermal loosening of the substrate, may lead to the first transition state of collagenolysis.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2012 · Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
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    ABSTRACT: The discoidin domain receptors, DDR1 and DDR2, are constitutively dimeric receptor tyrosine kinases that are activated by triple-helical collagen. Aberrant DDR signaling contributes to several human pathologies, including many cancers. We have generated monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) that inhibit DDR1 signaling without interfering with collagen binding. The crystal structure of the monomeric DDR1 extracellular region bound to the Fab fragment of mAb 3E3 reveals that the collagen-binding discoidin (DS) domain is tightly associated with the following DS-like domain, which contains the epitopes of all mAbs. A conserved surface patch in the DS domain outside the collagen-binding site is shown to be required for signaling. Thus, the active conformation of the DDR1 dimer involves collagen-induced contacts between the DS domains, in addition to the previously identified association of transmembrane helices. The mAbs likely inhibit signaling by sterically blocking the extracellular association of DDR1 subunits.
    Preview · Article · Apr 2012 · Structure
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    Erhard Hohenester
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    ABSTRACT: The recognition of pathogen surfaces by mannan-binding lectin activates MASP proteases, leading to complement activation. A crystal structure by Gingras et al. (2011) in this issue of Structure now shows how the collagen-like stems of mannan-binding lectin bind MASP-1 through a minimalist set of interactions.
    Preview · Article · Nov 2011 · Structure
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    Sadaf-Ahmahni Hussain · Federico Carafoli · Erhard Hohenester

    Preview · Dataset · Feb 2011
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    Sadaf-Ahmahni Hussain · Federico Carafoli · Erhard Hohenester
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    ABSTRACT: The polymerization of laminin into a cell-associated network--a key step in basement membrane assembly--is mediated by the laminin amino-terminal (LN) domains at the tips of the three short arms of the laminin αβγ-heterotrimer. The crystal structure of a laminin α5LN-LE1-2 fragment shows that the LN domain is a β-jelly roll with several elaborate insertions that is attached like a flower head to the stalk-like laminin-type epidermal growth factor-like tandem. A surface loop that is strictly conserved in the LN domains of all α-short arms is required for stable ternary association with the β- and γ-short arms in the laminin network.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2011 · EMBO Reports
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    ABSTRACT: Dystroglycan is a ubiquitously expressed cell adhesion protein. Its principal role has been determined as a component of the dystrophin-glycoprotein complex of muscle, where it constitutes a key component of the costameric cell adhesion system. To investigate more fundamental aspects of dystroglycan function in cell adhesion, we examined the role of dystroglycan in the dynamics and assembly of cellular adhesions in myoblasts. We show that beta-dystroglycan is recruited to adhesion structures and, based on staining for vinculin, that overexpression or depletion of dystroglycan affects both size and number of fibrillar adhesions. Knockdown of dystroglycan increases the size and number of adhesions, whereas overexpression decreases the number of adhesions. Dystroglycan knockdown or overexpression affects the ability of cells to adhere to different substrates, and has effects on cell migration that are consistent with effects on the formation of fibrillar adhesions. Using an SH3 domain proteomic screen, we identified vinexin as a binding partner for dystroglycan. Furthermore, we show that dystroglycan can interact indirectly with vinculin by binding to the vinculin-binding protein vinexin, and that this interaction has a role in dystroglycan-mediated cell adhesion and spreading. For the first time, we also demonstrate unequivocally that beta-dystroglycan is a resident of focal adhesions.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2010 · Journal of Cell Science
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    ABSTRACT: The discoidin domain receptors, DDR1 and DDR2, are widely expressed receptor tyrosine kinases that are activated by triple-helical collagen. They control important aspects of cell behavior and are dysregulated in several human diseases. The major DDR2-binding site in collagens I-III is a GVMGFO motif (O is hydroxyproline) that also binds the matricellular protein SPARC. We have determined the crystal structure of the discoidin domain of human DDR2 bound to a triple-helical collagen peptide. The GVMGFO motifs of two collagen chains are recognized by an amphiphilic pocket delimited by a functionally critical tryptophan residue and a buried salt bridge. Collagen binding results in structural changes of DDR2 surface loops that may be linked to the process of receptor activation. A comparison of the GVMGFO-binding sites of DDR2 and SPARC reveals a striking case of convergent evolution in collagen recognition.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2009 · Structure

Publication Stats

6k Citations
526.70 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 1999-2014
    • Imperial College London
      • • Department of Life Sciences
      • • Division of Cell and Molecular Biology
      Londinium, England, United Kingdom
  • 1997-2009
    • Birkbeck, University of London
      Londinium, England, United Kingdom
  • 1992-2004
    • Universität Basel
      • Department of Biophysical Chemistry
      Bâle, Basel-City, Switzerland
  • 2000
    • University of Cologne
      • Institute for Biochemistry I
      Köln, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
  • 1996
    • University of London
      Londinium, England, United Kingdom
  • 1994
    • Purdue University
      • Department of Chemistry
      West Lafayette, IN, United States