Keap1 is a forked-stem dimer structure with two large spheres enclosing the intervening, double glycine repeat, and C-terminal domains

Toshihiko Ogura, Kit I. Tong, Kazuhiro Mio, Yuusuke Maruyama, Hirofumi Kurokawa, Chikara Sato, Masayuki Yamamoto

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139 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Keap1 is a substrate adaptor of a Cullin 3-based E3 ubiquitin ligase complex that recognizes Nrf2, and also acts as a cellular sensor for xenobiotics and oxidative stresses. Nrf2 is a transcriptional factor regulating the expression of cytoprotective enzyme genes in response to such stresses. Under unstressed conditions Keap1 binds Nrf2 and results in rapid degradation of Nrf2 through the proteasome pathway. In contrast, upon exposure to oxidative and electrophilic stress, reactive cysteine residues in intervening region (IVR) and Broad complex, Tramtrack, and Bric-à-Brac domains of Keap1 are modified by electrophiles. This modification prevents Nrf2 from rapid degradation and induces Nrf2 activity by repression of Keap1. Here we report the structure of mouse Keap1 homodimer by single particle electron microscopy. Three-dimensional reconstruction at 24-Å resolution revealed two large spheres attached by short linker arms to the sides of a small forked-stem structure, resembling a cherry-bob. Each sphere has a tunnel corresponding to the central hole of the β-propeller domain, as determined by x-ray crystallography. The IVR domain appears to surround the core of the β-propeller domain. The unexpected proximity of IVR to the β-propeller domain suggests that any distortions generated during modification of reactive cysteine residues in the IVR domain may send a derepression signal to the β-propeller domain and thereby stabilize Nrf2. This study thus provides a structural basis for the two-site binding and hinge-latch model of stress sensing by the Nrf2-Keap1 system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2842-2847
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume107
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Feb 16

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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