Despite recent progress in research on the Hippo signalling pathway, the structural information available in this area is extremely limited. Intriguingly, the homodimeric and heterodimeric interactions of mammalian sterile 20-like (MST) kinases through the so-called 'SARAH' (SAV/RASSF/HPO) domains play a critical role in cellular homeostasis, dictating the fate of the cell regarding cell proliferation or apoptosis. To understand the mechanism of the heterodimerization of SARAH domains, the three-dimensional structures of an MST1-RASSF5 SARAH heterodimer and an MST2 SARAH homodimer were determined by X-ray crystallography and were analysed together with that previously determined for the MST1 SARAH homodimer. While the structure of the MST2 homodimer resembled that of the MST1 homodimer, the MST1-RASSF5 heterodimer showed distinct structural features. Firstly, the six N-terminal residues (Asp432-Lys437), which correspond to the short N-terminal 310-helix h1 kinked from the h2 helix in the MST1 homodimer, were disordered. Furthermore, the MST1 SARAH domain in the MST1-RASSF5 complex showed a longer helical structure (Ser438-Lys480) than that in the MST1 homodimer (Val441-Lys480). Moreover, extensive polar and nonpolar contacts in the MST1-RASSF5 SARAH domain were identified which strengthen the interactions in the heterodimer in comparison to the interactions in the homodimer. Denaturation experiments performed using urea also indicated that the MST-RASSF heterodimers are substantially more stable than the MST homodimers. These findings provide structural insights into the role of the MST1-RASSF5 SARAH domain in apoptosis signalling.
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Acta Crystallographica Section D: Biological Crystallography|
|Publication status||Published - 2014 Jan 1|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Structural Biology