Structures of a deAMPylation complex rationalise the switch between antagonistic catalytic activities

The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) Hsp70 chaperone BiP is regulated by AMPylation, a reversible inactivating post-translational modification. Both BiP AMPylation and deAMPylation are catalysed by a single ER-localised enzyme, FICD. Here we present crystallographic and solution structures of a deAMPylation Michaelis complex formed between mammalian AMPylated BiP and FICD. The latter, via its tetratricopeptide repeat domain, binds a surface that is specific to ATP-state Hsp70 chaperones, explaining the exquisite selectivity of FICD for BiP’s ATP-bound conformation both when AMPylating and deAMPylating Thr518. The eukaryotic deAMPylation mechanism thus revealed, rationalises the role of the conserved Fic domain Glu234 as a gatekeeper residue that both inhibits AMPylation and facilitates hydrolytic deAMPylation catalysed by dimeric FICD.

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Fig: The deAMPylation complex crystal structure

These findings point to a monomerisation-induced increase in Glu234 flexibility as the basis of an oligomeric state-dependent switch between FICD’s antagonistic activities, despite a similar mode of engagement of its two substrates — unmodified and AMPylated BiP.

Perera, L.A., Preissler, S., Zaccai, N.R. et al. Structures of a deAMPylation complex rationalise the switch between antagonistic catalytic activities of FICD. Nat Commun 12, 5004 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-25076-7

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