Apr 2, 2020

Dynamic structural order of a low complexity domain facilitates assembly of intermediate filaments

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Angelo GaitasDylan T. Murray


The coiled-coil domains of intermediate filament (IF) proteins are flanked by regions of low sequence complexity. Whereas IF coiled-coil domains assume dimeric and tetrameric conformations on their own, maturation of eight tetramers into cylindrical IFs is dependent upon either "head" or "tail" domains of low sequence complexity. Here we confirm that the tail domain required for assembly of Drosophila Tm1 IFs functions by forming labile cross-{beta} interactions. These interactions are seen in polymers made from the tail domain alone as well as assembled IFs formed by the intact Tm1 protein. The ability to visualize such interactions in situ within the context of a discrete cellular assembly lends support to the concept that equivalent interactions may be used in organizing other dynamic aspects of cell morphology.

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