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J Neurochem. 2015 Oct;135(1):165-75. doi: 10.1111/jnc.13223. Epub 2015 Aug 25.

Extended conformation of the proline-rich domain of human aryl hydrocarbon receptor-interacting protein-like 1: implications for retina disease.

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Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, USA.
Department of Biochemistry, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, USA.
Protein Crystallography Facility, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, USA.
Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, USA.


Mutations in the primate-specific proline-rich domain (PRD) of aryl hydrocarbon receptor-interacting protein-like 1 (AIPL1) are thought to cause Leber congenital amaurosis or dominant cone-rod dystrophy. The role of PRD and the mechanisms of PRD mutations are poorly understood. Here, we have examined properties of hAIPL1 and effects of the PRD mutations on protein structure and function. Solution structures of hAIPL1, hAIPL11-316 with PRD truncation, and the P351Δ12 and P376S mutants were examined by small angle X-ray scattering. Our analysis suggests that PRD assumes an extended conformation and does not interact with the FK506-binding and tetratricopeptide domains. The PRD truncation, but not PRD mutations, reduced the molecule's radius of gyration and maximum dimension. We demonstrate that hAIPL1 is a monomeric protein, and its secondary structure and stability are not affected by the PRD mutations. PRD itself is an extended monomeric random coil. The PRD mutations caused little or no changes in hAIPL1 binding to known partners, phosphodiesterase-6A and HSP90. We also identified the γ-subunit of phosphodiesterase-6 as a novel partner of hAIPL1 and hypothesize that this interaction is altered by P351Δ12. Our results highlight the complexity of mechanisms of PRD mutations in disease and the possibility that certain mutations are benign variants. Mutations in the proline-rich domain (PRD) of human AIPL1 cause severe retinal diseases, yet the role of PRD and the mechanisms of PRD mutations are unknown. Here, we describe a SAXS-derived solution structure of AIPL1 and functional properties of disease-linked AIPL1-PRD mutants. This structure and functional analyses provide a framework for understanding the mechanisms of PRD in disease.


AIPL1; HSP90; SAXS; phosphodiesterase-6; photoreceptor; retina

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