Structural basis for the nucleotide-dependent dimerization of the large G protein atlastin-1/SPG3A.Byrnes, L.J., Sondermann, H.
(2011) Proc.Natl.Acad.Sci.USA 108: 2216-2221
- PubMed: 21220294
- DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1012792108
- Primary Citation of Related Structures:  3Q5E
- PubMed Abstract:
The large GTPase atlastin belongs to the dynamin superfamily that has been widely implicated in facilitating membrane tubulation, fission, and in select cases, fusion. Mutations spread across atlastin isoform 1 (atlastin-1) have been identified in pa ...
The large GTPase atlastin belongs to the dynamin superfamily that has been widely implicated in facilitating membrane tubulation, fission, and in select cases, fusion. Mutations spread across atlastin isoform 1 (atlastin-1) have been identified in patients suffering from hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP), a neurodegenerative disorder affecting motor neuron function in the lower extremities. On a molecular level, atlastin-1 associates with high membrane curvature and fusion events at the endoplasmic reticulum and cis-Golgi. Here we report crystal structures of atlastin-1 comprising the G and middle domains in two different conformations. Although the orientation of the middle domain relative to the G domain is different in the two structures, both reveal dimeric assemblies with a common, GDP-bound G domain dimer. In contrast, dimer formation in solution is observed only in the presence of GTP and transition state analogs, similar to other G proteins that are activated by nucleotide-dependent dimerization. Analyses of solution scattering data suggest that upon nucleotide binding, the protein adopts a somewhat extended, dimeric conformation that is reminiscent of one of the two crystal structures. These structural studies suggest a model for nucleotide-dependent regulation of atlastin with implications for membrane fusion. This mechanism is affected in several mutants associated with HSP, providing insights into disease pathogenesis.
Department of Molecular Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA.