- Han H, Kursula P
- Periaxin and AHNAK nucleoprotein 2 form intertwined homodimers through domain swapping.
- J Biol Chem. 2014 Mar 27.
- Periaxin (PRX) is an abundant protein in the peripheral nervous system, with an important role in myelination. PRX participates in large molecular complexes, most likely through the interactions of its N-terminal PSD-95/Discs-large/ZO-1 (PDZ)-like domain. We present the crystal structures of the PDZ-like domains from PRX and its homologue AHNAK nucleoprotein 2 (AHNAK2). The unique intertwined, domain-swapped dimers provide a structural basis for the homodimerization of both proteins. The core of the homodimer is formed by a 6-stranded antiparallel beta sheet, with every other strand from a different chain. The AHNAK2 PDZ domain structure contains a bound class III ligand peptide. The binding pocket is preformed, and the peptide-PDZ interactions have unique aspects, including two salt bridges and weak recognition of the peptide C terminus. Tight homodimerization may be central to the scaffolding functions of PRX and AHNAK2 in molecular complexes linking the extracellular matrix to the cytoskeletal network.