Apr 7, 2020

Structural basis for the binding of SNAREs to the multisubunit tethering complex Dsl1

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
S. M. TravisFrederick M Hughson


Multisubunit tethering complexes (MTCs) are large (250 to >750 kDa), conserved macromolecular machines that are essential for SNARE-mediated membrane fusion in all eukaryotes. MTCs are thought to function as organizers of membrane trafficking, mediating the initial, long-range interaction between a vesicle and its target membrane and promoting the formation of membrane-bridging SNARE complexes. Previously, we reported the structure of the Dsl1 complex, the simplest known MTC, which is essential for COPI-mediated transport from the Golgi to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). This structure suggested how the Dsl1 complex might function to tether a vesicle to its target membrane by binding at one end to the COPI coat and at the other end to ER SNAREs. Here, we use x-ray crystallography to investigate these Dsl1-SNARE interactions in greater detail. The Dsl1 complex comprises three subunits that together form a two-legged structure with a central hinge. Our results show that distal regions of each leg bind N-terminal Habc domains of the ER SNAREs Sec20 (a Qb-SNARE) and Use1 (a Qc-SNARE). The observed binding modes appear to anchor the Dsl1 complex to the ER target membrane while simultaneously ensuring that both SNAREs are in open con...Continue Reading

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