An ancient autoproteolytic domain found in GAIN, ZU5 and Nucleoporin98

Yuxing Liao, Jimin Pei, Hua Cheng, Nick V. Grishin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


A large family of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) involved in cell adhesion has a characteristic autoproteolysis motif of HLT/S known as the GPCR proteolysis site (GPS). GPS is also shared by polycystic kidney disease proteins and it precedes the first transmembrane segment in both families. Recent structural studies have elucidated the GPS to be part of a larger domain named GPCR autoproteolysis inducing (GAIN) domain. Here we demonstrate the remote homology relationships of GAIN domain to ZU5 domain and Nucleoporin98 (Nup98) C-terminal domain by structural and sequence analysis. Sequence homology searches were performed to extend ZU5-like domains to bacteria and archaea, as well as new eukaryotic families. We found that the consecutive ZU5-UPA-death domain domain organization is commonly used in human cytoplasmic proteins with ZU5 domains, including CARD8 (caspase recruitment domain-containing protein 8) and NLRP1 (NACHT, LRR and PYD domain-containing protein 1) from the FIIND (Function to Find) family. Another divergent family of extracellular ZU5-like domains was identified in cartilage intermediate layer proteins and FAM171 proteins. Current diverse families of GAIN domain subdomain B, ZU5 and Nup98 C-terminal domain likely evolved from an ancient autoproteolytic domain with an HFS motif. The autoproteolytic site was kept intact in Nup98, p53-induced protein with a death domain and UNC5C-like, deteriorated in many ZU5 domains and changed in GAIN and FIIND. Deletion of the strand after the cleavage site was observed in zonula occluden-1 and some Nup98 homologs. These findings link several autoproteolytic domains, extend our understanding of GAIN domain origination in adhesion GPCRs and provide insights into the evolution of an ancient autoproteolytic domain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3935-3945
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Molecular Biology
Issue number24
StatePublished - Nov 2014


  • GPS
  • adhesion GPCR
  • autoproteolysis
  • cleavage motif
  • homology detection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology
  • Molecular Biology


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