Skeletal muscle excitation-contraction (EC) coupling roots in Ca2+-influx-independent inter-channel signaling between the sarcolemmal dihydropyridine receptor (DHPR) and the ryanodine receptor (RyR1) in the sarcoplasmic reticulum. Although DHPR Ca2+ influx is irrelevant for EC coupling, its putative role in other muscle-physiological and developmental pathways was recently examined using two distinct genetically engineered mouse models carrying Ca2+ non-conducting DHPRs: DHPR(N617D) (Dayal et al., 2017) and DHPR(E1014K) (Lee et al., 2015). Surprisingly, despite complete block of DHPR Ca2+-conductance, histological, biochemical, and physiological results obtained from these two models were contradictory. Here we characterize the permeability and selectivity properties and henceforth the mechanism of Ca2+ non-conductance of DHPR(N617). Our results reveal that only mutant DHPR(N617D) with atypical high-affinity Ca2+ pore-binding is tight for physiologically relevant monovalent cations like Na+ and K+. Consequently, we propose a molecular model of cooperativity between two ion selectivity rings formed by negatively charged residues in the DHPR pore region.
All data generated or analyzed during this study are included in the manuscript and supporting files.
- Manfred Grabner
- Anamika Dayal
- Manfred Grabner
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Henry M Colecraft, Columbia University, United States
© 2021, Dayal 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.