Structural model of the proline-rich domain of huntingtin exon-1 fibrils [article]

Alexander S Falk, José M Bravo-Arredondo, Jobin Varkey, Sayuri Pacheco, Langen Ralf, Ansgar B Siemer
2020 bioRxiv   pre-print
Huntington's disease (HD) is a heritable neurodegenerative disease that is caused by a CAG expansion in the first exon of the huntingtin gene. This expansion results in an elongated polyglutamine (polyQ) domain that increases the propensity of huntingtin exon-1 (HTTex1) to form cross-β fibrils. While the polyQ domain is important for fibril formation, the dynamic, C-terminal proline-rich domain (PRD) of HTTex1 makes up a large fraction of the fibril surface. Because potential fibril toxicity
more » ... to be mediated by interactions of the fibril surface with its cellular environment, we wanted to model the conformational space adopted by the PRD. We ran 800 ns long molecular dynamics (MD) simulations of the PRD using an explicit water model optimized for intrinsically disordered proteins. These simulations accurately predicted our previous solid state NMR data and newly acquired EPR DEER distances, lending confidence in their accuracy. The simulations show that the PRD generally forms an imperfect polyproline II (PPII) helical conformation. The two polyproline (polyP) regions within the PRD stay in a PPII helix for most of the simulation, whereas occasional kinks in the proline rich linker region cause an overall bend in the PRD structure. The dihedral angles of the glycine at the end of the second polyP region are very variable, effectively decoupling the highly dynamic 12 C-terminal residues from the rest of the PRD.
doi:10.1101/2020.04.17.046714 fatcat:dulkn3rcaffphfuz6egttel6sm