An allosteric transition trapped in an intermediate state of a new kinesin-inhibitor complex.

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Abstract or Description

Human kinesin Eg5 plays an essential role in mitosis by separating duplicated centrosomes and establishing the bipolar spindle. Eg5 is an interesting drug target for the development of cancer chemotherapy, with seven inhibitors already in clinical trials. In the present paper, we report the crystal structure of the Eg5 motor domain complexed with a potent antimitotic inhibitor STLC (S-trityl-L-cysteine) to 2.0 A (1 A=0.1 nm) resolution. The Eg5-STLC complex crystallizes in space group P3(2) with three molecules per asymmetric unit. Two of the molecules reveal the final inhibitor-bound state of Eg5, whereby loop L5 has swung downwards to close the inhibitor-binding pocket, helix alpha4 has rotated by approx. 15 degrees and the neck-linker has adopted a docked conformation. The third molecule, however, revealed an unprecedented intermediate state, whereby local changes at the inhibitor-binding pocket have not propagated to structural changes at the switch II cluster and neck-linker. This provides structural evidence for the sequence of drug-induced conformational changes.




Published In

The Biochemical journal, 425, 1, 55-60.