Dependence of leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2) kinase activity on dimerization.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Dominant missense mutations in the leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2) gene are the most common known genetic cause of Parkinson disease. LRRK2 encodes a serine/threonine protein kinase, and pathogenic mutations may increase kinase activity. Intrinsic GTP binding in the GTPase domain may govern kinase activity through an internal signal transduction cascade. As with many protein kinases, LRRK2 self-interacts through mechanisms that may regulate enzymatic activity. We find that the disruption of either GTPase or kinase activity enhances the formation of high molecular weight oligomers and prevents the formation of LRRK2 dimer structures. In addition, brief application of the broad spectrum kinase inhibitor staurosporine ablates LRRK2 dimers and promotes LRRK2 high molecular weight oligomers. LRRK2 interactions with other proteins in cell lines are kinase-independent and include chaperones and cell cytoskeleton components, suggesting that LRRK2 self-assembly principally dictates complex size. To further explore the mechanics of kinase activation, we separate soluble LRRK2 protein that encodes the pathogenic G2019S mutation into high molecular weight oligomers, dimers, and monomers and find that kinase activity resides with dimeric LRRK2. Some PD-associated mutations that increase kinase activity in vitro significantly increase the proportion of dimer structures relative to total LRRK2 protein, providing additional insight into how pathogenic mutations may alter normal enzymatic regulation. Targeting and tracking LRRK2 dimerization may provide a clear way to observe LRRK2 kinase activity in living cells, and disruption of dimeric LRRK2 through kinase inhibition or other means may attenuate pathogenic increases in LRRK2 enzymatic output.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Sen, S; Webber, PJ; West, AB

Published Date

  • December 25, 2009

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 284 / 52

Start / End Page

  • 36346 - 36356

PubMed ID

  • 19826009

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC2794750

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1083-351X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1074/jbc.M109.025437


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States