RET is a receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) that plays essential roles in development and has been implicated in several human diseases. Different from most of RTKs, RET requires not only its cognate ligands but also co-receptors for activation, the mechanisms of which remain unclear due to lack of high-resolution structures of the ligand/co-receptor/receptor complexes. Here, we report cryo-EM structures of the extracellular region ternary complexes of GDF15/GFRAL/RET, GDNF/GFRα1/RET, NRTN/GFRα2/RET and ARTN/GFRα3/RET. These structures reveal that all the four ligand/co-receptor pairs, while using different atomic interactions, induce a specific dimerization mode of RET that is poised to bring the two kinase domains into close proximity for cross-phosphorylation. The NRTN/GFRα2/RET dimeric complex further pack into a tetrameric assembly, which is shown by our cell-based assays to regulate the endocytosis of RET. Our analyses therefore reveal both the common mechanism and diversification in the activation of RET by different ligands.
Cryo-EM maps and the corresponding models of RET/co-receptors/ligands complexes have been deposited in EMDB and PDB under the accession codes EMD-20572/EMD-20573/EMD-20575/EMD-20576/EMD-20577/EMD-20578/EMD-20579/EMD-20580 and 6Q2J/6Q2N/6Q2O/6Q2R/6Q2S, respectively. All data generated or analysed during this study are included in the manuscript and supporting files. Source data files have been provided for Figure 5 and Figure 5-Supplement 1.
- Xiao-chen Bai
- Xiao-chen Bai
- Xuewu Zhang
- Xuewu Zhang
- Xuewu Zhang
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Mark Lemmon, Yale University School of Medicine, United States
© 2019, Li et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
The serotonin transporter (SERT/SLC6A4) is arguably the most extensively studied solute carrier (SLC). During its eponymous action – that is, the retrieval of serotonin from the extracellular space – SERT undergoes a conformational cycle. Typical inhibitors (antidepressant drugs and cocaine), partial and full substrates (amphetamines and their derivatives), and atypical inhibitors (ibogaine analogues) bind preferentially to different states in this cycle. This results in competitive or non-competitive transport inhibition. Here, we explored the action of N-formyl-1,3-bis (3,4-methylenedioxyphenyl)-prop-2-yl-amine (ECSI#6) on SERT: inhibition of serotonin uptake by ECSI#6 was enhanced with increasing serotonin concentration. Conversely, the KM for serotonin was lowered by augmenting ECSI#6. ECSI#6 bound with low affinity to the outward-facing state of SERT but with increased affinity to a potassium-bound state. Electrophysiological recordings showed that ECSI#6 preferentially interacted with the inward-facing state. Kinetic modeling recapitulated the experimental data and verified that uncompetitive inhibition arose from preferential binding of ECSI#6 to the K+-bound, inward-facing conformation of SERT. This binding mode predicted a pharmacochaperoning action of ECSI#6, which was confirmed by examining its effect on the folding-deficient mutant SERT-PG601,602AA: preincubation of HEK293 cells with ECSI#6 restored export of SERT-PG601,602AA from the endoplasmic reticulum and substrate transport. Similarly, in transgenic flies, the administration of ECSI#6 promoted the delivery of SERT-PG601,602AA to the presynaptic specialization of serotonergic neurons. To the best of our knowledge, ECSI#6 is the first example of an uncompetitive SLC inhibitor. Pharmacochaperones endowed with the binding mode of ECSI#6 are attractive, because they can rescue misfolded transporters at concentrations, which cause modest transport inhibition.
Ferroportin (Fpn) is a transporter that releases ferrous ion (Fe2+) from cells and is important for homeostasis of iron in circulation. Export of one Fe2+ by Fpn is coupled to import of two H+ to maintain charge balance. Here, we show that human Fpn (HsFpn) binds to and mediates Ca2+ transport. We determine the structure of Ca2+-bound HsFpn and identify a single Ca2+ binding site distinct from the Fe2+ binding sites. Further studies validate the Ca2+ binding site and show that Ca2+ transport is not coupled to transport of another ion. In addition, Ca2+ transport is significantly inhibited in the presence of Fe2+ but not vice versa. Function of Fpn as a Ca2+ uniporter may allow regulation of iron homeostasis by Ca2+.