The BBSome is a heterooctameric protein complex that plays a central role in primary cilia homeostasis. Its malfunction causes the severe ciliopathy Bardet-Biedl syndrome (BBS). The complex acts as a cargo adapter that recognizes signaling proteins such as GPCRs and links them to the intraflagellar transport machinery. The underlying mechanism is poorly understood. Here we present a high-resolution cryo-EM structure of a human heterohexameric core subcomplex of the BBSome. The structure reveals the architecture of the complex in atomic detail. It explains how the subunits interact with each other and how disease-causing mutations hamper this interaction. The complex adopts a conformation that is open for binding to membrane-associated GTPase Arl6 and a large positively charged patch likely strengthens the interaction with the membrane. A prominent negatively charged cleft at the center of the complex is likely involved in binding of positively charged signaling sequences of cargo proteins.
The electron density maps have been deposited to the EMDB under the accession codes EMD-10617 and EMD-10618. The final models of the BBSome were submitted to the Protein Data Bank under the accession codes 6XT9 (subunits BBS1,4,8,9,18) and 6XTB (subunits BBS1,4,5,8,9,18).
- Stefan Raunser
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Andrew P Carter, MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, United Kingdom
© 2020, Klink et al.
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