Cyclic GMP-dependent protein kinases (PKGs) are key mediators of the nitric oxide/cGMP signaling pathway that regulates biological functions as diverse as smooth muscle contraction, cardiac function, and axon guidance. Understanding how cGMP differentially triggers mammalian PKG isoforms could lead to new therapeutics that inhibit or activate PKGs, complementing drugs that target nitric oxide synthases and cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterases in this signaling axis. Alternate splicing of PRKG1 transcripts confers distinct leucine zippers, linkers, and auto-inhibitory pseudo-substrate sequences to PKG Iα and Iβ that result in isoform-specific activation properties, but the mechanism of enzyme auto-inhibition and its alleviation by cGMP is not well understood. Here we present a crystal structure of PKG Iβ in which the auto-inhibitory sequence and the cyclic nucleotide binding domains are bound to the catalytic domain, providing a snapshot of the auto-inhibited state. Specific contacts between the PKG Iβ auto-inhibitory sequence and the enzyme active site help explain isoform-specific activation constants and the effects of phosphorylation in the linker. We also present a crystal structure of a PKG I cyclic nucleotide binding domain with an activating mutation linked to Thoracic Aortic Aneurysms and Dissections. Similarity of this structure to wild type cGMP-bound domains and differences with the auto-inhibited enzyme provide a mechanistic basis for constitutive activation. We show that PKG Iβ auto-inhibition is mediated by contacts within each monomer of the native full-length dimeric protein, and using the available structural and biochemical data we develop a model for the regulation and cooperative activation of PKGs.
Diffraction data have been deposited in PDB under the accession codes 7LV3 and 7MBJ.
- Choel W Kim
- Fritz W Herberg
- Fritz W Herberg
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Tony Hunter, Salk Institute for Biological Studies, United States
- Received: April 15, 2022
- Accepted: August 4, 2022
- Accepted Manuscript published: August 5, 2022 (version 1)
This is an open-access article, free of all copyright, and may be freely reproduced, distributed, transmitted, modified, built upon, or otherwise used by anyone for any lawful purpose. The work is made available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication.
The phosphatidylinositol 4-phosphate 5-kinase (PIP5K) family of lipid modifying enzymes generate the majority of phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PI(4,5)P2) lipids found at the plasma membrane in eukaryotic cells. PI(4,5)P2 lipids serve a critical role in regulating receptor activation, ion channel gating, endocytosis, and actin nucleation. Here we describe how PIP5K activity is regulated by cooperative binding to PI(4,5)P2 lipids and membrane-mediated dimerization of the kinase domain. In contrast to constitutively dimeric phosphatidylinositol 5-phosphate 4-kinase (PIP4K, type II PIPK), solution PIP5K exists in a weak monomer-dimer equilibrium. PIP5K monomers can associate with PI(4,5)P2 containing membranes and dimerize in a protein density dependent manner. Although dispensable for cooperative PI(4,5)P2 binding, dimerization enhances the catalytic efficiency of PIP5K through a mechanism consistent with allosteric regulation. Additionally, dimerization amplifies stochastic variation in the kinase reaction velocity and strengthens effects such as the recently described stochastic geometry sensing. Overall, the mechanism of PIP5K membrane binding creates a broad dynamic range of lipid kinase activities that are coupled to the density of PI(4,5)P2 and membrane bound kinase.
The p97/Cdc48 ATPase and its ubiquitin receptors Ufd1-Npl4 are essential to unfold ubiquitylated proteins in many areas of eukaryotic cell biology. In yeast, Cdc48-Ufd1-Npl4 is controlled by a quality control mechanism, whereby substrates must be conjugated to at least five ubiquitins. Here, we show that mammalian p97-UFD1-NPL4 is governed by a complex interplay between additional p97 cofactors and the number of conjugated ubiquitins. Using reconstituted assays for the disassembly of ubiquitylated CMG (Cdc45-MCM-GINS) helicase by human p97-UFD1-NPL4, we show that the unfoldase has a high ubiquitin threshold for substrate unfolding, which can be reduced by the UBX proteins UBXN7, FAF1, or FAF2. Our data indicate that the UBX proteins function by binding to p97-UFD1-NPL4 and stabilising productive interactions between UFD1-NPL4 and K48-linked chains of at least five ubiquitins. Stimulation by UBXN7 is dependent upon known ubiquitin-binding motifs, whereas FAF1 and FAF2 use a previously uncharacterised coiled-coil domain to reduce the ubiquitin threshold of p97-UFD1-NPL4. We show that deleting the Ubnx7 and Faf1 genes impairs CMG disassembly during S-phase and mitosis and sensitises cells to reduced ubiquitin ligase activity. These findings indicate that multiple UBX proteins are important for the efficient unfolding of ubiquitylated proteins by p97-UFD1-NPL4 in mammalian cells.