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

Journal Article: StructureYear Published: (2019) Volume Number: 27, Article Number: 1316-1352.e6


Lim,Michael; Newman,Joseph A; Williams,Hannah L; Masino,Laura; Aitkenhead,Hazel; Gravard,Angeline E; Gileadi,Opher; Svejstrup,Jesper Q

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.