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EMBO Rep. 2002 Feb;3(2):183-9. Epub 2002 Jan 29.

Crystal structure of the GABA(A)-receptor-associated protein, GABARAP.

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  • 1European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), 6 rue Jules Horowitz, BP181, F-38042 Grenoble 9, France.


The GABA(A)-receptor-associated protein (GABARAP) is a member of a growing family of intracellular membrane trafficking and/or fusion proteins and has been implicated in plasma membrane targeting and/or recycling of GABA(A) receptors. GABARAP is localized on intracellular membranes such as the trans-Golgi network, binds to the gamma 2 subunit of GABA(A) receptors and interacts with microtubules and the N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor. We report the X-ray crystal structure of mammalian GABARAP at 2.0 A resolution. GABARAP consists of an N-terminal basic helical region, which has been implicated in tubulin binding, and a core structure with a conserved ubiquitin-like fold. Consistent with the high extent of sequence conservation among GABARAP homologues from plants to mammals, one face of the core structure is absolutely conserved while the opposite face shows considerable divergence. These features are in agreement with the conserved surface mediating protein-protein interactions shared by all members of the family, whereas the non-conserved surface region may play specific roles, such as docking to particular membrane receptors.

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