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Nucleotide binding, evolutionary insights and interaction partners of the pseudokinase Unc-51-like kinase 4

By Franziska Preuss, Deep Chatterjee, Sebastian Mathea, Safal Shrestha, Jonathan St-Germain, Manipa Saha, Natarajan Kannan, Brian Raught, Robert Rottapel, Stefan Knapp

Posted 19 Jun 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.06.18.159293 (published DOI: 10.1016/j.str.2020.07.016)

Unc-51-like kinase 4 (ULK4) is a pseudokinase that has been linked to the development of several diseases. Even though sequence motifs required for ATP binding in kinases are lacking, ULK4 still tightly binds ATP and the presence of the cofactor is required for structural stability of ULK4. Here we present a high-resolution structure of a ULK4-ATPγS complex revealing a highly unusual ATP binding mode in which the lack of the canonical VAIK motif lysine is compensated by K39, located N-terminal to αC. Evolutionary analysis suggests that degradation of active site motifs in metazoan ULK4 has co-occurred with an ULK4 specific activation loop, which stabilizes the C-helix. In addition, cellular interaction studies using BioID and biochemical validation data revealed high confidence interactors of the pseudokinase and armadillo repeat domains. Many of the identified ULK4 interaction partners were centrosomal and tubulin associated proteins and several active kinases suggesting new roles for ULK4. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.

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