Send to

Choose Destination
PLoS One. 2016 Jun 3;11(6):e0156719. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0156719. eCollection 2016.

Structure of the Plexin Ectodomain Bound by Semaphorin-Mimicking Antibodies.

Author information

Laboratory of Protein Synthesis and Expression, Institute for Protein Research, Osaka University, Suita, Osaka, Japan.
Research Division, Chugai Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd, Gotemba, Shizuoka, Japan.
Department of Respiratory Medicine, Allergy, and Rheumatic Disease, Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka University, Suita, Osaka, Japan.


Semaphorin family proteins act on cells to mediate both repulsive and attractive guidance via binding to plexin family receptors, thereby playing fundamental roles in the morphogenesis and homeostasis of various tissues. Although semaphorin-plexin signaling is implicated in various diseases and is thus a target of intensive research, our mechanistic understanding of how semaphorins activate plexins on the cell surface is limited. Here, we describe unique anti-plexin-A1 antibodies that can induce a collapsed morphology in mouse dendritic cells as efficiently as the semaphorin 3A (Sema3A) ligand. Precise epitope analysis indicates that these "semaphorin-mimicking" antibodies dimerize cell-surface plexin-A1 by binding to the N-terminal sema domain of the plexin at sites away from the interface used by the Sema3A ligand. Structural analysis of plexin-A1 fragments using negative stain electron microscopy further revealed that this agonistic capacity is closely linked to the location and orientation of antibody binding. In addition, the full-length plexin-A1 ectodomain exhibited a highly curved "C" shape, reinforcing the very unusual dimeric receptor conformation of this protein at the cell surface when engaged with Sema3A or agonistic antibodies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Public Library of Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center