Structural basis for the binding of tryptophan-based motifs by δ-COP

Richard J. Suckling, Pak Phi Poon, Sophie M. Travis, Irina V. Majoul, Frederick M. Hughson, Philip R. Evans, Rainer Duden, David J. Owen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Coatomer consists of two subcomplexes: the membrane-targeting, ADP ribosylation factor 1 (Arf1):GTP-binding βγδζ-COP F-subcomplex, which is related to the adaptor protein (AP) clathrin adaptors, and the cargo-binding αβ'ϵ-COP B-subcomplex. We present the structure of the C-terminal μ-homology domain of the yeast δ-COP subunit in complex with the WxW motif from its binding partner, the endoplasmic reticulum-localized Dsl1 tether. The motif binds at a site distinct from that used by the homologous AP μ subunits to bind YxxΦ cargo motifs with its two tryptophan residues sitting in compatible pockets. We also show that the Saccharomyces cerevisiae Arf GTPase-activating protein (GAP) homolog Gcs1p uses a related WxxF motif at its extreme C terminus to bind to δ-COP at the same site in the same way. Mutations designed on the basis of the structure in conjunction with isothermal titration calorimetry confirm the mode of binding and show that mammalian δ-COP binds related tryptophan-based motifs such as that from ArfGAP1 in a similar manner. We conclude that δ-COP subunits bind Wxn(1-6) [WF] motifs within unstructured regions of proteins that influence the lifecycle of COPI-coated vesicles; this conclusion is supported by the observation that, in the context of a sensitizing domain deletion in Dsl1p, mutating the tryptophan-based motif-binding site in yeast causes defects in both growth and carboxypeptidase Y trafficking/processing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14242-14247
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number46
StatePublished - Nov 17 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


  • COPI
  • Coatomer
  • Homology domain-binding motifs
  • Membrane trafficking
  • Vesicle coat
  • δ-copμ


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