National Center for
5IMT: Toxin receptor complex
Structural Basis for Receptor Recognition by the Human CD59-Responsive Cholesterol-Dependent Cytolysins
Structure (2016) 24 p.1488-1498
Cholesterol-dependent cytolysins (CDCs) are a family of pore-forming toxins that punch holes in the outer membrane of eukaryotic cells. Cholesterol serves as the receptor, but a subclass of CDCs first binds to human CD59. Here we describe the crystal structures of vaginolysin and intermedilysin complexed to CD59. These studies, together with small-angle X-ray scattering, reveal that CD59 binds to each at different, though overlapping, sites, consistent with molecular dynamics simulations and binding studies. The CDC consensus undecapeptide motif, which for the CD59-responsive CDCs has a proline instead of a tryptophan in the motif, adopts a strikingly different conformation between the structures; our data suggest that the proline acts as a selectivity switch to ensure CD59-dependent CDCs bind their protein receptor first in preference to cholesterol. The structural data suggest a detailed model of how these water-soluble toxins assemble as prepores on the cell surface.