Crystal structure of the N-terminal, growth factor-like domain of the amyloid precursor protein bound to copper

Experimental Data Snapshot

  • Resolution: 1.75 Å
  • R-Value Free: 0.230 
  • R-Value Work: 0.181 
  • R-Value Observed: 0.183 

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Amyloid precursor protein dimerization and synaptogenic function depend on copper binding to the growth factor-like domain

Baumkotter, F.Schmidt, N.Vargas, C.Schilling, S.Weber, R.Wagner, K.Fiedler, S.Klug, W.Radzimanowski, J.Nickolaus, S.Keller, S.Eggert, S.Wild, K.Kins, S.

(2014) J Neurosci 34: 11159-11172

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0180-14.2014
  • Primary Citation of Related Structures:  

  • PubMed Abstract: 

    Accumulating evidence suggests that the copper-binding amyloid precursor protein (APP) has an essential synaptic function. APP synaptogenic function depends on trans-directed dimerization of the extracellular E1 domain encompassing a growth factor-like domain (GFLD) and a copper-binding domain (CuBD). Here we report the 1.75 Å crystal structure of the GFLD in complex with a copper ion bound with high affinity to an extended hairpin loop at the dimerization interface. In coimmunoprecipitation assays copper binding promotes APP interaction, whereas mutations in the copper-binding sites of either the GFLD or CuBD result in a drastic reduction in APP cis-orientated dimerization. We show that copper is essential and sufficient to induce trans-directed dimerization of purified APP. Furthermore, a mixed culture assay of primary neurons with HEK293 cells expressing different APP mutants revealed that APP potently promotes synaptogenesis depending on copper binding to the GFLD. Together, these findings demonstrate that copper binding to the GFLD of APP is required for APP cis-/trans-directed dimerization and APP synaptogenic function. Thus, neuronal activity or disease-associated changes in copper homeostasis likely go along with altered APP synaptic function.

  • Organizational Affiliation

    Unit of Virus Host Cell Interactions, International Coeducational Unit 3265, Joseph Fourier University-European Molecular Biology Laboratory-National Center of Scientific Research, F-38042 Grenoble, France.

Find similar proteins by:  (by identity cutoff)  |  3D Structure
Entity ID: 1
MoleculeChains Sequence LengthOrganismDetailsImage
Amyloid beta A4 protein163Homo sapiensMutation(s): 0 
Gene Names: APPA4AD1
UniProt & NIH Common Fund Data Resources
Find proteins for P05067 (Homo sapiens)
Explore P05067 
Go to UniProtKB:  P05067
GTEx:  ENSG00000142192 
Entity Groups  
Sequence Clusters30% Identity50% Identity70% Identity90% Identity95% Identity100% Identity
UniProt GroupP05067
Sequence Annotations
  • Reference Sequence
Small Molecules
Experimental Data & Validation

Experimental Data

  • Resolution: 1.75 Å
  • R-Value Free: 0.230 
  • R-Value Work: 0.181 
  • R-Value Observed: 0.183 
  • Space Group: P 21 21 21
Unit Cell:
Length ( Å )Angle ( ˚ )
a = 34.05α = 90
b = 49.07β = 90
c = 66.16γ = 90
Software Package:
Software NamePurpose
MxCuBEdata collection
MOSFLMdata reduction
SCALAdata scaling

Structure Validation

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Entry History 

Deposition Data

Revision History  (Full details and data files)

  • Version 1.0: 2014-07-23
    Type: Initial release
  • Version 1.1: 2014-09-03
    Changes: Database references
  • Version 1.2: 2023-11-08
    Changes: Data collection, Database references, Derived calculations, Refinement description