The FERM domain of human moesin mutant L281R

Experimental Data Snapshot

  • Resolution: 2.54 Å
  • R-Value Free: 0.287 
  • R-Value Work: 0.244 
  • R-Value Observed: 0.246 

wwPDB Validation   3D Report Full Report

This is version 1.4 of the entry. See complete history


Discovery of FERM domain protein-protein interaction inhibitors for MSN and CD44 as a potential therapeutic approach for Alzheimer's disease.

Du, Y.Bradshaw, W.J.Leisner, T.M.Annor-Gyamfi, J.K.Qian, K.Bashore, F.M.Sikdar, A.Nwogbo, F.O.Ivanov, A.A.Frye, S.V.Gileadi, O.Brennan, P.E.Levey, A.I.Axtman, A.D.Pearce, K.H.Fu, H.Katis, V.L.

(2023) J Biol Chem 299: 105382-105382

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbc.2023.105382
  • Primary Citation of Related Structures:  
    6TXQ, 6TXS, 8CIR, 8CIS, 8CIT, 8CIU

  • PubMed Abstract: 

    Proteomic studies have identified moesin (MSN), a protein containing a four-point-one, ezrin, radixin, moesin (FERM) domain, and the receptor CD44 as hub proteins found within a coexpression module strongly linked to Alzheimer's disease (AD) traits and microglia. These proteins are more abundant in Alzheimer's patient brains, and their levels are positively correlated with cognitive decline, amyloid plaque deposition, and neurofibrillary tangle burden. The MSN FERM domain interacts with the phospholipid phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PIP 2 ) and the cytoplasmic tail of CD44. Inhibiting the MSN-CD44 interaction may help limit AD-associated neuronal damage. Here, we investigated the feasibility of developing inhibitors that target this protein-protein interaction. We have employed structural, mutational, and phage-display studies to examine how CD44 binds to the FERM domain of MSN. Interestingly, we have identified an allosteric site located close to the PIP 2 binding pocket that influences CD44 binding. These findings suggest a mechanism in which PIP 2 binding to the FERM domain stimulates CD44 binding through an allosteric effect, leading to the formation of a neighboring pocket capable of accommodating a receptor tail. Furthermore, high-throughput screening of a chemical library identified two compounds that disrupt the MSN-CD44 interaction. One compound series was further optimized for biochemical activity, specificity, and solubility. Our results suggest that the FERM domain holds potential as a drug development target. Small molecule preliminary leads generated from this study could serve as a foundation for additional medicinal chemistry efforts with the goal of controlling microglial activity in AD by modifying the MSN-CD44 interaction.

  • Organizational Affiliation

    Department of Pharmacology and Chemical Biology, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Emory Chemical Biology Discovery Center, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

Find similar proteins by:  (by identity cutoff)  |  3D Structure
Entity ID: 1
MoleculeChains Sequence LengthOrganismDetailsImage
A, B, C
347Homo sapiensMutation(s): 1 
Gene Names: MSN
UniProt & NIH Common Fund Data Resources
Find proteins for P26038 (Homo sapiens)
Explore P26038 
Go to UniProtKB:  P26038
PHAROS:  P26038
GTEx:  ENSG00000147065 
Entity Groups  
Sequence Clusters30% Identity50% Identity70% Identity90% Identity95% Identity100% Identity
UniProt GroupP26038
Sequence Annotations
  • Reference Sequence
Experimental Data & Validation

Experimental Data

  • Resolution: 2.54 Å
  • R-Value Free: 0.287 
  • R-Value Work: 0.244 
  • R-Value Observed: 0.246 
  • Space Group: P 1 21 1
Unit Cell:
Length ( Å )Angle ( ˚ )
a = 72.704α = 90
b = 74.049β = 95.63
c = 115.075γ = 90
Software Package:
Software NamePurpose
DIALSdata reduction
STARANISOdata scaling

Structure Validation

View Full Validation Report

Entry History & Funding Information

Deposition Data

Funding OrganizationLocationGrant Number
National Institutes of Health/National Institute on Aging (NIH/NIA)United States5U54AG065187-03

Revision History  (Full details and data files)

  • Version 1.0: 2023-03-01
    Type: Initial release
  • Version 1.1: 2023-10-25
    Changes: Data collection, Database references
  • Version 1.2: 2023-11-01
    Changes: Database references
  • Version 1.3: 2023-11-08
    Changes: Database references
  • Version 1.4: 2023-11-29
    Changes: Database references