National Center for
3VH4: Crystal Structure Of Atg7ctd-Atg8-Mgatp Complex
Mol. Cell (2011) 44 p.462-475
E1 enzymes activate ubiquitin-like proteins and transfer them to cognate E2 enzymes. Atg7, a noncanonical E1, activates two ubiquitin-like proteins, Atg8 and Atg12, and plays a crucial role in autophagy. Here, we report crystal structures of full-length Atg7 and its C-terminal domain bound to Atg8 and MgATP, as well as a solution structure of Atg8 bound to the extreme C-terminal domain (ECTD) of Atg7. The unique N-terminal domain (NTD) of Atg7 is responsible for Atg3 (E2) binding, whereas its C-terminal domain is comprised of a homodimeric adenylation domain (AD) and ECTD. The structural and biochemical data demonstrate that Atg8 is initially recognized by the C-terminal tail of ECTD and is then transferred to an AD, where the Atg8 C terminus is attacked by the catalytic cysteine to form a thioester bond. Atg8 is then transferred via a trans mechanism to the Atg3 bound to the NTD of the opposite protomer within a dimer.