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Structure-function relationships of the alpha/beta-hydrolase

Chem Biol Interact. 2010 Sep ;187(1-3):49-55
Structure-function relationships of the alpha/beta-hydrolase fold domain of neuroligin : a comparison with acetylcholinesterase.
Leone P, Comoletti D, Taylor P, Bourne Y, Marchot P.

The neuroligins are postsynaptic cell adhesion proteins whose extracellular domain belongs to the alpha/beta-hydrolase fold family of proteins, a family characterized through the enzyme acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and other enzymes with various substrate specificities. Neuroligin associations with the presynaptic neurexins participate in synapse maturation and maintenance. Alternative splicing of the neuroligin and neurexin genes result in multiple isoforms and presumably regulation of activity, while mutations appear to be associated with autism spectrum disorders. The crystal structures of the extracellular, cell adhesion domain of three neuroligins (NL1, NL2 and NL4) revealed features that distinguish the neuroligins from their enzyme relatives and could not be predicted by homology modelling from an AChE template. The structures of NL1 and NL4 bound with a soluble beta-neurexin domain (Nrxbeta1) revealed the precise position and orientation of the bound Nrxbeta1 and the Ca(2+)-dependent interaction network at the complex interface. Herein we present an overview of the unbound and Nrxbeta1-bound neuroligin structures and compare them with structures of AChEs with and without a bound fasciculin partner. This study exemplifies how an alpha/beta-hydrolase fold domain tailored for catalysis varies to acquire adhesion properties, and defines three surface regions with distinctive locations and properties for homologous or heterologous partner association.


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