Human keratin 1/10-1B tetramer structures reveal a knob-pocket mechanism in intermediate filament assembly.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


EMBO J (2019)


<p>To characterize keratin intermediate filament assembly mechanisms at atomic resolution, we determined the crystal structure of wild-type human keratin-1/keratin-10 helix 1B heterotetramer at 3.0&nbsp;Å resolution. It revealed biochemical determinants for the A mode of axial alignment in keratin filaments. Four regions on a hydrophobic face of the K1/K10-1B heterodimer dictated tetramer assembly: the N-terminal hydrophobic pocket (defined by L227, Y230, F231, and F234), the K10 hydrophobic stripe, K1 interaction residues, and the C-terminal anchoring knob (formed by F314 and L318). Mutation of both knob residues to alanine disrupted keratin 1B tetramer and full-length filament assembly. Individual knob residue mutant F314A, but not L318A, abolished 1B tetramer formation. The K1-1B knob/pocket mechanism is conserved across keratins and many non-keratin intermediate filaments. To demonstrate how pathogenic mutations cause skin disease by altering filament assembly, we additionally determined the 2.39&nbsp;Å structure of K1/10-1B containing a S233L mutation linked to epidermolytic palmoplantar keratoderma. Light scattering and circular dichroism measurements demonstrated enhanced aggregation of K1/K10-1B in solution without affecting secondary structure. The K1/K10-1B octamer structure revealed S233L causes aberrant hydrophobic interactions between 1B tetramers.</p>

6EC0 (wild‐type) and 6E2J (mutant)