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The Four Canonical TPR Subunits of Human APC/C Form Related Homo-Dimeric Structures and Stack in Parallel to Form a TPR Suprahelix

Zhang, Ziguo, Chang, Leifu, Yang, Jing, Conin, Nora, Kulkarni, Kiran, Barford, David
Journal of Molecular Biology 2013 v.425 pp. 4236-4248
Animalia, Schizosaccharomyces pombe, anaphase promoting complex, crystal structure, electron microscopy, germplasm conservation, humans, models, proteins
The anaphase-promoting complex or cyclosome (APC/C) is a large E3 RING-cullin ubiquitin ligase composed of between 14 and 15 individual proteins. A striking feature of the APC/C is that only four proteins are involved in directly recognizing target proteins and catalyzing the assembly of a polyubiquitin chain. All other subunits, which account for >80% of the mass of the APC/C, provide scaffolding functions. A major proportion of these scaffolding subunits are structurally related. In metazoans, there are four canonical tetratricopeptide repeat (TPR) proteins that form homo-dimers (Apc3/Cdc27, Apc6/Cdc16, Apc7 and Apc8/Cdc23). Here, we describe the crystal structure of the N-terminal homo-dimerization domain of Schizosaccharomyces pombe Cdc23 (Cdc23Nterm). Cdc23Nterm is composed of seven contiguous TPR motifs that self-associate through a related mechanism to those of Cdc16 and Cdc27. Using the Cdc23Nterm structure, we generated a model of full-length Cdc23. The resultant ā€œVā€-shaped molecule docks into the Cdc23-assigned density of the human APC/C structure determined using negative stain electron microscopy (EM). Based on sequence conservation, we propose that Apc7 forms a homo-dimeric structure equivalent to those of Cdc16, Cdc23 and Cdc27. The model is consistent with the Apc7-assigned density of the human APC/C EM structure. The four canonical homo-dimeric TPR proteins of human APC/C stack in parallel on one side of the complex. Remarkably, the uniform relative packing of neighboring TPR proteins generates a novel left-handed suprahelical TPR assembly. This finding has implications for understanding the assembly of other TPR-containing multimeric complexes.