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Parkinson’s Disease-Linked LRRK2 Structure and Model for Microtubule Interaction

  • Author(s): Deniston, Colin Keith
  • Advisor(s): Leschziner, Andres
  • et al.

Leucine Rich Repeat Kinase 2 (LRRK2) is the most commonly mutated gene in familial Parkinson’s disease. LRRK2 is proposed to function in membrane trafficking and co-localizes with microtubules. We report the 3.5Å structure of the catalytic half of LRRK2, and an atomic model of microtubule-associated LRRK2 built using a reported 14Å structure obtained by cryo-electron tomography. We propose that the conformation of LRRK2’s kinase domain regulates its microtubule interaction, with a closed conformation favoring binding. We show that the catalytic half of LRRK2 is sufficient for microtubule binding and blocks the motility of the microtubule-based motors kinesin and dynein in vitro. Kinase inhibitors that stabilize an open conformation relieve this interference and reduce LRRK2 filament formation in cells, while those that stabilize a closed conformation do not. Our findings suggest that LRRK2 is a roadblock for microtubule-based motors and have implications for the design of therapeutic LRRK2 kinase inhibitors.

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