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Cryo-EM of the pathogenic VCP variant R155P reveals long-range conformational changes in the D2 ATPase ring

Mountassif, Driss, Fabre, Lucien, Zaid, Younes, Halawani, Dalia, Rouiller, Isabelle
Biochemical and biophysical research communications 2015 v.468 pp. 636-641
adenosinetriphosphatase, amino acid substitution, amino acids, bones, brain, cryo-electron microscopy, crystal structure, isoelectric point, muscles, protein subunits
Single amino acid mutations in valosin containing protein (VCP/p97), a highly conserved member of the ATPases associated with diverse cellular activities (AAA) family of ATPases has been linked to a severe degenerative disease affecting brain, muscle and bone tissue. Previous studies have demonstrated the role of VCP mutations in altering the ATPase activity of the D2 ring; however the structural consequences of these mutations remain unclear. In this study, we report the three-dimensional (3D) map of the pathogenic VCP variant, R155P, as revealed by single-particle Cryo-Electron Microscopy (EM) analysis at 14 Å resolution. We show that the N-terminal R155P mutation induces a large structural reorganisation of the D2 ATPase ring. Results from docking studies using crystal structure data of available wild-type VCP in the EM density maps indicate that the major difference is localized at the interface between two protomers within the D2 ring. Consistent with a conformational change, the VCP R155P variant shifted the isoelectric point of the protein and reduced its interaction with its well-characterized cofactor, nuclear protein localization-4 (Npl4). Together, our results demonstrate that a single amino acid substitution in the N-terminal domain can relay long-range conformational changes to the distal D2 ATPase ring. Our results provide the first structural clues of how VCP mutations may influence the activity and function of the D2 ATPase ring.