Metal Ions Induce Liquid Condensate Formation by the F Domain of Aedes aegypti Ecdysteroid Receptor. New Perspectives of Nuclear Receptor Studies.

Cells
Anna WiȩchMarek Orłowski

Abstract

The superfamily of nuclear receptors (NRs), composed of ligand-activated transcription factors, is responsible for gene expression as a reaction to physiological and environmental changes. Transcriptional machinery may require phase separation to fulfil its role. Although NRs have a similar canonical structure, their C-terminal domains (F domains) are considered the least conserved and known regions. This article focuses on the peculiar molecular properties of the intrinsically disordered F domain of the ecdysteroid receptor from the Aedes aegypti mosquito (AaFEcR), the vector of the world's most devastating human diseases such as dengue and Zika. The His-Pro-rich segment of AaFEcR was recently shown to form the unique poly-proline helix II (PPII) in the presence of Cu2+. Here, using widefield microscopy of fluorescently labeled AaFEcR, Zn2+- and Cu2+-induced liquid-liquid phase separation (LLPS) was observed for the first time for the members of NRs. The perspectives of this finding on future research on the F domain are discussed, especially in relation to other NR members.

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