The crystal structure of pseudokinase PEAK1 (Sugen Kinase 269) reveals an unusual catalytic cleft and a novel mode of kinase fold dimerization.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


J Biol Chem (2017)


<p>The pseudokinase group encompasses some 10% of protein kinases, but pseudokinases diverge from canonical kinases in key motifs. The two members of the small new kinase family 3 (NKF3) group are considered pseudokinases. These proteins, pseudopodium-enriched atypical kinase 1 (PEAK1, Sugen Kinase 269, or SgK269) and pragmin (Sugen Kinase 223 or SgK223) act as scaffolds in growth factor signaling pathways, and both contain a kinase fold with degraded kinase motifs at their C termini. These kinases may harbor regions that mediate oligomerization or control other aspects of signal transduction, but a lack of structural information has precluded detailed investigations into their functional roles. In this study, we determined the X-ray crystal structure of the PEAK1 pseudokinase domain to 2.3 Å resolution. The structure revealed that the PEAK1 kinase-like domain contains a closed nucleotide-binding cleft that in this conformation may deleteriously affect nucleotide binding. Moreover, we found that N- and C-terminal extensions create a highly unusual all α-helical split-dimerization region, termed here the split helical dimerization (SHED) region. Sequence conservation analysis suggested that this region facilitates a dimerization mode that is conserved between PEAK1 and pragmin. Finally, we observed structural similarities between the PEAK1 SHED region and the C-terminal extension (CTE) of the Parkinson&#39;s disease-associated kinase PINK1. In summary, PEAK1&#39;s kinase cleft is occluded, and its newly identified SHED region may promote an unexpected dimerization mode. Similarities of PEAK1 with the active kinase PINK1 may reclassify the latter as a member of the NKF3 group.</p>