Structure-based in silico identification of ubiquitin-binding domains provides insights into the ALIX-V:ubiquitin complex and retrovirus budding

Tal Keren‐Kaplan, Ilan Attali, Michael Estrin, Lillian S Kuo, Efrat Farkash, Moran Jerabek‐Willemsen, Noa Blutraich, Shay Artzi, Aviyah Peri, Eric O Freed, Haim J Wolfson, Gali Prag

EMBO Journal
2013 vol: 32 issue: 4 pp: 538-551 doi: 10.1038/emboj.2013.4


The ubiquitylation signal promotes trafficking of endogenous and retroviral transmembrane proteins. The signal is decoded by a large set of ubiquitin (Ub) receptors that tether Ub-binding domains (UBDs) to the trafficking machinery. We developed a structure-based procedure to scan the protein data bank for hidden UBDs. The screen retrieved many of the known UBDs. Intriguingly, new potential UBDs were identified, including the ALIX-V domain. Pull-down, cross-linking and E3-independent ubiquitylation assays biochemically corroborated the in silico findings. Guided by the output model, we designed mutations at the postulated ALIX-V:Ub interface. Biophysical affinity measurements using microscale-thermophoresis of wild-type and mutant proteins revealed some of the interacting residues of the complex. ALIX-V binds mono-Ub with a K(d) of 119 μM. We show that ALIX-V oligomerizes with a Hill coefficient of 5.4 and IC(50) of 27.6 μM and that mono-Ub induces ALIX-V oligomerization. Moreover, we show that ALIX-V preferentially binds K63 di-Ub compared with mono-Ub and K48 di-Ub. Finally, an in vivo functionality assay demonstrates the significance of ALIX-V:Ub interaction in equine infectious anaemia virus budding. These results not only validate the new procedure, but also demonstrate that ALIX-V directly interacts with Ub in vivo and that this interaction can influence retroviral budding.

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Topics: Computational Analyses, In Silico Scan, Protein Trafficking, Ubiquitin, Virus Budding, Monolith – MicroScale Thermophoresis, MST, Proteins, Publications