Intracellular trafficking depends on the function of Rab GTPases, whose activation is regulated by guanine exchange factors (GEFs). The Rab5 GEF, Rabex5, was previously proposed to be auto-inhibited by its C-terminus. Here, we studied full-length Rabex5 and Rabaptin5 proteins as well as domain deletion Rabex5 mutants using hydrogen deuterium exchange mass spectrometry. We generated a structural model of Rabex5, using chemical cross-linking mass spectrometry and integrative modeling techniques. By correlating structural changes with nucleotide exchange activity for each construct, we uncovered new auto-regulatory roles for the Ubiquitin binding domains and the Linker connecting those domains to the catalytic core of Rabex5. We further provide evidence that enhanced dynamics in the catalytic core are linked to catalysis. Our results suggest a more complex auto-regulation mechanism than previously thought and imply that Ubiquitin binding serves not only to position Rabex5 but to also control its Rab5 GEF activity through allosteric structural alterations.
Data generated for figures 1a and 3 are included in the supporting files.
- Marino Zerial
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Suzanne R Pfeffer, Stanford University School of Medicine, United States
© 2019, Lauer et al.
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