New Publication from Dr. Mitsuhiko Ikura

May 20, 2020

Dr. Mitsuhiko IkuraDr. Mitsuhiko Ikura

MBP scientist Dr. Mitsuhiko Ikura, along with a team of research collaborators, have published a new Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS) article entitled 'Multivalent Assembly of KRAS With the RAS-Binding and Cysteine-Rich Domains of CRAF on the Membrane'.

Article Abstract
"Membrane anchoring of farnesylated KRAS is critical for activation of RAF kinases, yet our understanding of how these proteins interact on the membrane is limited to isolated domains. The RAS-binding domain (RBD) and cysteine-rich domain (CRD) of RAF engage KRAS and the plasma membrane, unleashing the kinase domain from autoinhibition. Due to experimental challenges, structural insight into this tripartite KRAS:RBD–CRD:membrane complex has relied on molecular dynamics simulations. Here, we report NMR studies of the KRAS:CRAF RBD–CRD complex. We found that the nucleotide-dependent KRAS–RBD interaction results in transient electrostatic interactions between KRAS and CRD, and we mapped the membrane interfaces of the CRD, RBD–CRD, and the KRAS:RBD–CRD complex. RBD–CRD exhibits dynamic interactions with the membrane through the canonical CRD lipid-binding site (CRD β7–8), as well as an alternative interface comprising β6 and the C terminus of CRD and β2 of RBD. Upon complex formation with KRAS, two distinct states were observed by NMR: State A was stabilized by membrane association of CRD β7–8 and KRAS α4–α5 while state B involved the C terminus of CRD, β3–5 of RBD, and part of KRAS α5. Notably, α4–α5, which has been proposed to mediate KRAS dimerization, is accessible only in state B. A cancer-associated mutation on the state B membrane interface of CRAF RBD (E125K) stabilized state B and enhanced kinase activity and cellular MAPK signaling. These studies revealed a dynamic picture of the assembly of the KRAS–CRAF complex via multivalent and dynamic interactions between KRAS, CRAF RBD–CRD, and the membrane."

Learn More
View the article on the PNAS website.