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    A two-site flexible clamp mechanism for RET-GDNF-GFRα1 assembly reveals both conformational adaptation and strict geometric spacing

    Adams, S.E. and Purkiss, A.G. and Knowles, P.P. and Nans, A. and Briggs, D.C. and Borg, A. and Earl, C.P. and Goodman, K.M. and Nawrotek, A. and Borg, A.J. and McIntosh, P.B. and Houghton, F.M. and Kjær, S. and McDonald, Neil Q. (2021) A two-site flexible clamp mechanism for RET-GDNF-GFRα1 assembly reveals both conformational adaptation and strict geometric spacing. Structure , ISSN 0969-2126. (In Press)

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    Abstract

    RET receptor tyrosine kinase plays vital developmental and neuroprotective roles in metazoans. GDNF family ligands (GFLs) when bound to cognate GFRα co-receptors recognize and activate RET stimulating its cytoplasmic kinase function. The principles for RET ligand-co-receptor recognition are incompletely understood. Here, we report a crystal structure of the cadherin-like module (CLD1-4) from zebrafish RET revealing interdomain flexibility between CLD2 and CLD3. Comparison with a cryo-electron microscopy structure of a ligand-engaged zebrafish RETECD-GDNF-GFRα1a complex indicates conformational changes within a clade-specific CLD3 loop adjacent to the co-receptor. Our observations indicate that RET is a molecular clamp with a flexible calcium-dependent arm that adapts to different GFRα co-receptors, while its rigid arm recognizes a GFL dimer to align both membrane-proximal cysteine-rich domains. We also visualize linear arrays of RETECD-GDNF-GFRα1a suggesting that a conserved contact stabilizes higher-order species. Our study reveals that ligand-co-receptor recognition by RET involves both receptor plasticity and strict spacing of receptor dimers by GFL ligands.

    Metadata

    Item Type: Article
    School: School of Science > Biological Sciences
    Depositing User: Neil McDonald
    Date Deposited: 04 Mar 2021 14:22
    Last Modified: 29 Jun 2021 04:12
    URI: https://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/43289

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