Crystal structure of the human RORalpha ligand binding domain in complex with cholesterol sulfate at 2.2A

Experimental Data Snapshot

  • Resolution: 2.20 Å
  • R-Value Free: 0.209 
  • R-Value Work: 0.197 
  • R-Value Observed: 0.197 

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This is version 1.4 of the entry. See complete history


Crystal structure of the human RORalpha Ligand binding domain in complex with cholesterol sulfate at 2.2 A

Kallen, J.Schlaeppi, J.M.Bitsch, F.Delhon, I.Fournier, B.

(2004) J Biol Chem 279: 14033-14038

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M400302200
  • Primary Citation of Related Structures:  

  • PubMed Abstract: 

    The retinoic acid-related orphan receptor alpha (RORalpha) is an orphan member of the subfamily 1 of nuclear hormone receptors. Our recent structural and functional studies have led to the hypothesis that cholesterol or a cholesterol derivative is the natural ligand of RORalpha. We have now solved the x-ray crystal structure of the ligand binding domain of RORalpha in complex with cholesterol-3-O-sulfate following a ligand exchange experiment. In contrast to the 3-hydroxyl of cholesterol, the 3-O-sulfate group makes additional direct hydrogen bonds with three residues of the RORalpha ligand binding domain, namely NH-Gln(289), NH-Tyr(290), and NH1-Arg(370). When compared with the complex with cholesterol, seven well ordered water molecules have been displaced, and the ligand is slightly shifted toward the hydrophilic part of the ligand binding pocket, which is ideally suited for interactions with a sulfate group. These additional ligand-protein interactions result in an increased affinity of cholesterol sulfate when compared with cholesterol, as shown by mass spectrometry analysis done under native conditions and differential scanning calorimetry. Moreover, mutational studies show that the higher binding affinity of cholesterol sulfate translates into an increased transcriptional activity of RORalpha. Our findings suggest that cholesterol sulfate could play a crucial role in the regulation of RORalpha in vivo.

  • Organizational Affiliation

    Discovery Technologies, Protein Structure Unit, Basel, Switzerland. joerg.kallen@pharma.novartis.com

Find similar proteins by:  (by identity cutoff)  |  3D Structure
Entity ID: 1
MoleculeChains Sequence LengthOrganismDetailsImage
Nuclear receptor ROR-alpha270Homo sapiensMutation(s): 0 
UniProt & NIH Common Fund Data Resources
Find proteins for P35398 (Homo sapiens)
Explore P35398 
Go to UniProtKB:  P35398
PHAROS:  P35398
Entity Groups  
Sequence Clusters30% Identity50% Identity70% Identity90% Identity95% Identity100% Identity
UniProt GroupP35398
Sequence Annotations
  • Reference Sequence
Small Molecules
Ligands 1 Unique
IDChains Name / Formula / InChI Key2D Diagram3D Interactions
Query on C3S

Download Ideal Coordinates CCD File 
C27 H46 O4 S
Experimental Data & Validation

Experimental Data

  • Resolution: 2.20 Å
  • R-Value Free: 0.209 
  • R-Value Work: 0.197 
  • R-Value Observed: 0.197 
  • Space Group: P 1 21 1
Unit Cell:
Length ( Å )Angle ( ˚ )
a = 54.4α = 90
b = 49.9β = 97.8
c = 60.7γ = 90
Software Package:
Software NamePurpose
DENZOdata reduction
CCP4data scaling

Structure Validation

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Entry History 

Deposition Data

Revision History  (Full details and data files)

  • Version 1.0: 2004-02-10
    Type: Initial release
  • Version 1.1: 2008-04-29
    Changes: Version format compliance
  • Version 1.2: 2011-07-13
    Changes: Version format compliance
  • Version 1.3: 2022-12-21
    Changes: Database references, Derived calculations
  • Version 1.4: 2023-09-20
    Changes: Data collection, Refinement description