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The in situ structure of Parkinson's disease-linked LRRK2

By Reika Watanabe, Robert Buschauer, Jan Böhning, Martina Audagnotto, Keren Lasker, Tsan Wen Lu, Daniela Boassa, Susan Taylor, Elizabeth Villa

Posted 10 Nov 2019
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/837203

Mutations in leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2) are the most frequent cause of familial Parkinson's disease. LRRK2 is a multi-domain protein containing a kinase and GTPase. Using in situ cryo-electron tomography and subtomogram averaging, we reveal a 14-Å structure of LRRK2 bearing a pathogenic mutation that oligomerizes as a right-handed double-helix around microtubules, which are left-handed. Using integrative modeling, we determine the architecture of LRRK2, showing that the GTPase points towards the microtubule, while the kinase is exposed to the cytoplasm. We identify two oligomerization interfaces mediated by non-catalytic domains. Mutation of one of these abolishes LRRK2 microtubule-association. Our work demonstrates the power of cryo-electron tomography to obtain structures of previously unsolved proteins in their cellular environment and provides insights into LRRK2 function and pathogenicity.

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