National Center for
3BOP: Structure Of Mouse Beta-neurexin 2d4
Crystal structures of beta-neurexin 1 and beta-neurexin 2 ectodomains and dynamics of splice insertion sequence 4
Structure (2008) 16 p.410-421
Presynaptic neurexins (NRXs) bind to postsynaptic neuroligins (NLs) to form Ca(2+)-dependent complexes that bridge neural synapses. beta-NRXs bind NLs through their LNS domains, which contain a single site of alternative splicing (splice site 4) giving rise to two isoforms: +4 and Delta. We present crystal structures of the Delta isoforms of the LNS domains from beta-NRX1 and beta-NRX2, crystallized in the presence of Ca(2+) ions. The Ca(2+)-binding site is disordered in the beta-NRX2 structure, but the 1.7 A beta-NRX1 structure reveals a single Ca(2+) ion, approximately 12 A from the splice insertion site, with one coordinating ligand donated by a glutamic acid from an adjacent beta-NRX1 molecule. NMR studies of beta-NRX1+4 show that the insertion sequence is unstructured, and remains at least partially disordered in complex with NL. These results raise the possibility that beta-NRX insertion sequence 4 may function in roles independent of neuroligin binding.