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The immunity-related GTPase Irga6 dimerizes in a parallel head-to-head fashion

Authors

  • K. Schulte
  • N. Pawlowski
  • K. Faelber
  • C. Fröhlich
  • J. Howard
  • O. Daumke

Journal

  • BMC Biology

Citation

  • BMC Biol 14 (1): 14

Abstract

  • BACKGROUND: The immunity-related GTPases (IRGs) constitute a powerful cell-autonomous resistance system against several intracellular pathogens. Irga6 is a dynamin-like protein that oligomerizes at the parasitophorous vacuolar membrane (PVM) of Toxoplasma gondii leading to its vesiculation. Based on a previous biochemical analysis, it has been proposed that the GTPase domains of Irga6 dimerize in an antiparallel fashion during oligomerization. RESULTS: We determined the crystal structure of an oligomerization-impaired Irga6 mutant bound to a non-hydrolyzable GTP analog. Contrary to the previous model, the structure shows that the GTPase domains dimerize in a parallel fashion. The nucleotides in the center of the interface participate in dimerization by forming symmetric contacts with each other and with the switch I region of the opposing Irga6 molecule. The latter contact appears to activate GTP hydrolysis by stabilizing the position of the catalytic glutamate 106 in switch I close to the active site. Further dimerization contacts involve switch II, the G4 helix and the trans stabilizing loop. CONCLUSIONS: The Irga6 structure features a parallel GTPase domain dimer, which appears to be a unifying feature of all dynamin and septin superfamily members. This study contributes important insights into the assembly and catalytic mechanisms of IRG proteins as prerequisite to understand their anti-microbial action.


DOI

doi:10.1186/s12915-016-0236-7