The Structural Basis of ZMPSTE24-Dependent Laminopathies

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Science  29 Mar 2013:
Vol. 339, Issue 6127, pp. 1604-1607
DOI: 10.1126/science.1231513

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Lamin Loppers

The nuclear lamina provides mechanical stability to the nuclear envelope and is involved in regulation of cellular processes such as DNA replication. Defects in the nuclear lamina lead to diseases such as progeria and metabolic disorders. One of the components of the nuclear lamina, lamin A, undergoes a complex maturation process. A key player is an inner nuclear membrane zinc metalloprotease (ZMP) that is responsible for two proteolysis steps (see the Perspective by Michaelis and Hrycyna). Quigley et al. (p. 1604) report the crystal structure of human ZMPSTE24 and Pryor et al. (p. 1600) that of the yeast homolog Ste24p. The structures provide insight into the mechanism of catalysis and into why mutations in ZMPSTE24 lead to laminopathies.


Mutations in the nuclear membrane zinc metalloprotease ZMPSTE24 lead to diseases of lamin processing (laminopathies), such as the premature aging disease progeria and metabolic disorders. ZMPSTE24 processes prelamin A, a component of the nuclear lamina intermediate filaments, by cleaving it at two sites. Failure of this processing results in accumulation of farnesylated, membrane-associated prelamin A. The 3.4 angstrom crystal structure of human ZMPSTE24 has a seven transmembrane α-helical barrel structure, surrounding a large, water-filled, intramembrane chamber, capped by a zinc metalloprotease domain with the catalytic site facing into the chamber. The 3.8 angstrom structure of a complex with a CSIM tetrapeptide showed that the mode of binding of the substrate resembles that of an insect metalloprotease inhibitor in thermolysin. Laminopathy-associated mutations predicted to reduce ZMPSTE24 activity map to the zinc metalloprotease peptide–binding site and to the bottom of the chamber.

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