Cryo-EM structure of the PlexinC1/A39R complex reveals inter-domain interactions critical for ligand-induced activation

Yi Chun Kuo, Hua Chen, Guijun Shang, Emiko Uchikawa, Hui Tian, Xiao Chen Bai, Xuewu Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Plexins are receptors for semaphorins that transduce signals for regulating neuronal development and other processes. Plexins are single-pass transmembrane proteins with multiple domains in both the extracellular and intracellular regions. Semaphorin activates plexin by binding to its extracellular N-terminal Sema domain, inducing the active dimer of the plexin intracellular region. The mechanism underlying this activation process of plexin is incompletely understood. We present cryo-electron microscopic structure of full-length human PlexinC1 in complex with the viral semaphorin mimic A39R. The structure shows that A39R induces a specific dimer of PlexinC1 where the membrane-proximal domains from the two PlexinC1 protomers are placed close to each other, poised to promote the active dimer of the intracellular region. This configuration is imposed by a distinct conformation of the PlexinC1 extracellular region, stabilized by inter-domain interactions among the Sema and membrane-proximal domains. Our mutational analyses support the critical role of this conformation in PlexinC1 activation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1953
JournalNature communications
Volume11
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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