SAXS‐based structural modeling of the proC2:14‐3‐3ζ complex. (A) Best‐scoring AllosMod‐FoXS model of the proC2:14‐3‐3ζ complex shown in two perpendicular views. The N‐terminal linker, the p19 and the p12 domains and phosphorylation sites are indicated in brown, salmon, yellow, and red spheres, respectively. The protomers of 14‐3‐3ζ are shown in blue. 14‐3‐3 helices are identified with capital letters, whereas proC2 helices and β‐strands are identified with Greek letters. (B) Intermolecular cross‐links connecting the NLS region of proC2 (Lys153) to helices H1 and H3 of 14‐3‐3 (Lys11 and Lys68); and the proC2 domain p12 (Lys372, Lys381) to the 14‐3‐3ζ helix H3 (Lys68). Lysine residues of proC2 are shown in brown. (C) Cross‐links between the N terminus of proC2 (Ser123) and the 14‐3‐3ζ helix H4 and H5/H6 loop (Lys75, Lys138). Lysine residues of proC2 are shown in brown.
The main goal of this work is to provide the structural basis for the role of 14‐3‐3 protein binding in regulating caspase‐2 activation. Because all our previous attempts to crystallize the complex between Ser139‐ and Ser164‐ phosphorylated caspase‐2 (residues 123–452 without the CARD domain, hereafter referred to as proC2) and 14‐3‐3ζ had been unsuccessful, we decided to use small angle X‐ray scattering (SAXS) combined with NMR, with chemical cross‐linking coupled to MS and with fluorescence spectroscopy to characterize the solution structure and conformational behavior of this complex.
The structural analysis of the 14‐3‐3:caspase‐2 complex reported in this study suggested that 14‐3‐3 protein binding may inhibit caspase‐2 activation through interference with caspase‐2 oligomerization and/or its nuclear localization by sterically occluding caspase‐2 p12 domain as well as NLS, which is bordered by the two phosphorylated 14‐3‐3‐binding motifs of caspase‐2. Thus, these results corroborate the hypothesis that 14‐3‐3 binding is an important regulatory element of caspase‐2 activation. Further research should be directed to study the effect of 14‐3‐3 on the caspase‐2 dimerization and cellular localization in vivo.
Smidova, A; Alblova, M.; Kalabova, D.; Psenakova, K.; Rosulek, M; Herman, P.; Obsil. T. & Obsilova, V.: 14-3-3 protein masks the nuclear localization sequence of caspase-2. Febs Journal 285, 4196-4213, doi:10.1111/febs.14670 (2018).