PASSING THE BATON IN A UBIQUITIN RELAY Regulated transfer of ubiquitin to protein substrates is required for normal neuronal function. The RING-Cys-Relay (RCR) ubiquitin E3 ligase (E3) uses a distinct mechanism involving the intramolecular relay of ubiquitin prior to its transfer to threonine residues . A chemically engineered suicide substrate stabilises the highly transient ubiquitin transfer intermediate, allowing the visualisation of the initial handover of the ubiquitin baton to the RCR. The X-ray crystal structure of this transfer intermediate elucidates the RCR s novel mechanism.
Structural base for the transfer of GPI- anchored glycoproteins into fungal cell walls, M.S. Vogt (a), G.F. Schmitz (b), D. Varón Silva (c), H.U. Mösch (b,d) and L.O. Essen (a,d), PNAS USA 117, 22061-22067 (2020); https://doi.
org/10.1073/pnas.2010661117. (a) Department of Chemistry, Philipps- Universität, Marburg (Germany) (b) Department of Biology, Philipps- Universität, Marburg (Germany) (c) Department of Biomolecular Systems,
Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, Potsdam (Germany) (d) Center for Synthetic Microbiology, Philipps-Universität, Marburg (Germany)
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PRINCIPAL PUBLICATION AND AUTHORS
competent binding mode of the GPI-core glycan within the binding pocket of Dfg5 does not allow modifications on mannose 1, which provides a rationale for using GPI-anchor modifications as a postcode to specifically sort proteins towards
their correct destination. These structural insights provide a basis for further structure- guided drug development by targeting Dfg5- like enzymes as elements of fungal cell wall biosynthesis.
MYCBP2 is a very large (~500 kDa) protein that regulates neurodevelopment and promotes programmed axon degeneration . Previously, a 30 kDa region of MYCBP2 that contains the E3 machinery necessary for ubiquitin relay to threonine residues in substrate proteins was identified . This machinery, and the unique mechanism it employs, was named RING-Cys- Relay (RCR). In order to ubiquitinate threonine substrates, the RCR receives ubiquitin from an E2 conjugating enzyme (E2) at an upstream
cysteine and subsequently relays the ubiquitin to a downstream cysteine. The downstream cysteine resides in a well-defined active site equipped with threonine esterification activity .
Numerous studies have suggested that the conformation adopted by the E2-Ub conjugate determines the reactivity and specificity of ubiquitin transfer. These studies have been limited to a small subset of the >600 human
Fig. 36: a) Transfer of ubiquitin to the upstream cysteine via transthiolation with E2-Ub. A transient tetrahedral intermediate is formed prior to intramolecular relay to the downstream cysteine. b) A semi-synthetic E2-ubiquitin conjugate acts as an ABP and chemically stabilises the otherwise transient transfer intermediate. The final three Ub residues are replaced by an ethyl linker, a triazole (Trz) group and a cysteine-reactive activated vinylsulfide (AVS) warhead.