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Abstract

CALCINEURIN (CaN) is a calcium- and ca 1modulin-dependent protein serine/threonine phosphatase which is critical for several important cellular processes, including T-cell activation1. CaN is the target of the immunosuppressive drugs cyclosporin A and FK506, which inhibit CaN after forming complexes with cyto-plasmic binding proteins (cyclophilin and FKBP12, respectively)2. We report here the crystal structures of full-length human CaN at 2.1 Å resolution and of the complex of human CaN with FKBP12-FK506 at 3.5 Å resolution. In the native CaN structure, an auto-inhibitory element binds at the Zn/Fe-containing active site. The metal-site geometry and active-site water structure suggest a catalytic mechanism involving nucleophilic attack on the substrate phosphate by a metal-activated water molecule. In the FKBP12–FK506–CaN complex, the auto-inhibitory element is displaced from the active site. The site of binding of FKBP12–FK506 appears to be shared by other non-competitive inhibitors of calcineurin, including a natural anchoring protein.

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  1. J. Ernest Villafranca: To whom correspondence should be addressed.

Affiliations

  1. Agouron Pharmaceuticals Inc., 3565 General Atomics Court, San Diego, California, 92121-1121, USA

    • Charles R. Kissinger
    • , Hans E. Parge
    • , Daniel R. Knighton
    • , Cristina T. Lewis
    • , Laura A. Pelletier
    • , Anna Tempczyk
    • , Vincent J. Kalish
    • , Kathleen D. Tucker
    • , Richard E. Showalter
    • , Ellen W. Moomaw
    • , Louis N. Gastinel
    • , Noriyuki Habuka
    • , Xinghai Chen
    • , Fausto Maldonado
    • , John E. Barker
    • , Russell Bacquet
    •  & J. Ernest Villafranca

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https://doi.org/10.1038/378641a0

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