A ubiquitin-binding domain that binds a structural fold distinct from that of ubiquitin

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Ubiquitylation, the posttranslational linkage of ubiquitin moieties to lysines in target proteins, helps regulate a myriad of biological processes. Ubiquitin, and sometimes ubiquitin-homology domains, are recognized by ubiquitin-binding domains, including CUE domains. CUE domains are thus generally thought to function by mediating interactions with ubiquitylated proteins. The chromatin remodeler, SMARCAD1, interacts with KAP1, a transcriptional corepressor. The SMARCAD1-KAP1 interaction is direct and involves the first SMARCAD1 CUE domain (CUE1) and the RBCC domain of KAP1. Here, we present a structural model of the KAP1 RBCC-SMARCAD1 CUE1 complex based on X-ray crystallography. Remarkably, CUE1, a canonical CUE domain, recognizes a cluster of exposed hydrophobic and surrounding charged/amphipathic residues on KAP1, which are presented in the context of a coiled-coil domain, not in a structure resembling ubiquitin. Together, these data suggest that CUE domains may have a wider function than simply recognizing ubiquitin and the ubiquitin-fold.

Journal details

Journal Structure
Volume 27
Issue number 8
Pages 1316-1352.e6
Available online
Publication date

Crick labs/facilities

Acknowledged team

Crick authors

Crick First author
Crick Corresponding author