NatB is one of three major N-terminal acetyltransferase (NAT) complexes (NatA-NatC), which co-translationally acetylate the N-termini of eukaryotic proteins. Its substrates account for about 21% of the human proteome, including well known proteins such as actin, tropomyosin, CDK2, and α-synuclein (aSyn). Human NatB (hNatB) mediated N-terminal acetylation of αSyn has been demonstrated to play key roles in Parkinson's disease pathogenesis and as a potential therapeutic target for hepatocellular carcinoma. Here we report the cryo-EM structure of hNatB bound to a CoA-aSyn conjugate, together with structure-guided analysis of mutational effects on catalysis. This analysis reveals functionally important differences with human NatA and Candida albicans NatB, resolves key hNatB protein determinants for aSyn N-terminal acetylation, and identifies important residues for substrate-specific recognition and acetylation by NatB enzymes. These studies have implications for developing small molecule NatB probes and for understanding the mode of substrate selection by NAT enzymes.
Cryo-EM data submissions to the Protein Data Bank (PDB code 6VP9), Electron Microscopy Data Bank (EMD code 21307) and Electron Microscopy Public Image Archive (EMPIAR-10477).
- Ronen Marmorstein
- James Petersson
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Jeannie Chin, Baylor College of Medicine, United States
© 2020, Deng 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.
Doublecortin (DCX) is a microtubule (MT)-associated protein that regulates MT structure and function during neuronal development and mutations in DCX lead to a spectrum of neurological disorders. The structural properties of MT-bound DCX that explain these disorders are incompletely determined. Here, we describe the molecular architecture of the DCX–MT complex through an integrative modeling approach that combines data from X-ray crystallography, cryo-electron microscopy, and a high-fidelity chemical crosslinking method. We demonstrate that DCX interacts with MTs through its N-terminal domain and induces a lattice-dependent self-association involving the C-terminal structured domain and its disordered tail, in a conformation that favors an open, domain-swapped state. The networked state can accommodate multiple different attachment points on the MT lattice, all of which orient the C-terminal tails away from the lattice. As numerous disease mutations cluster in the C-terminus, and regulatory phosphorylations cluster in its tail, our study shows that lattice-driven self-assembly is an important property of DCX.
Lipid droplets (LDs) are organelles formed in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) to store triacylglycerol (TG) and sterol esters. The ER protein seipin is key for LD biogenesis. Seipin forms a cage-like structure, with each seipin monomer containing a conserved hydrophobic helix and two transmembrane (TM) segments. How the different parts of seipin function in TG nucleation and LD budding is poorly understood. Here, we utilized molecular dynamics simulations of human seipin, along with cell-based experiments, to study seipin’s functions in protein–lipid interactions, lipid diffusion, and LD maturation. An all-atom simulation indicates that seipin TM segment residues and hydrophobic helices residues located in the phospholipid tail region of the bilayer attract TG. Simulating larger, growing LDs with coarse-grained models, we find that the seipin TM segments form a constricted neck structure to facilitate conversion of a flat oil lens into a budding LD. Using cell experiments and simulations, we also show that conserved, positively charged residues at the end of seipin’s TM segments affect LD maturation. We propose a model in which seipin TM segments critically function in TG nucleation and LD growth.