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Homotypic death domain (DD)-DD interactions are important in the assembly of oligomeric signaling complexes such as the PIDDosome that acts as a platform for activation of caspase-2-dependent apoptotic signaling. The structure of the PIDDosome core complex exhibits an asymmetric three-layered arrangement containing five PIDD-DDs in one layer, five RAIDD-DDs in a second layer and an additional two RAIDD-DDs. We addressed complex formation between PIDD-DD and RAIDD-DD in solution using heteronuclear nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, nanoflow electrospray ionization mass spectrometry and size-exclusion chromatography with multi-angle light scattering. The DDs assemble into complexes displaying molecular masses in the range 130-158kDa and RAIDD-DD:PIDD-DD stoichiometries of 5:5, 6:5 and 7:5. These data suggest that the crystal structure is representative of only the heaviest species in solution and that two RAIDD-DDs are loosely attached to the 5:5 core. Two-dimensional (1)H,(15)N-NMR experiments exhibited signal loss upon complexation consistent with the formation of high-molecular-weight species. (13)C-Methyl-transverse relaxation optimized spectroscopy measurements of the PIDDosome core exhibit signs of differential line broadening, cross-peak splitting and chemical shift heterogeneity that reflect the presence of non-equivalent sites at interfaces within an asymmetric complex. Experiments using a mutant RAIDD-DD that forms a monodisperse 5:5 complex with PIDD-DD show that the spectroscopic signature derives from the quasi- but non-exact equivalent environments of each DD. Since this characteristic was previously demonstrated for the complex between the DDs of CD95 and FADD, the NMR data for this system are consistent with the formation of a structure homologous to the PIDDosome core.

Original publication




Journal article


J Mol Biol

Publication Date





737 - 752


ILV-labeling, TROSY NMR, death domain, protein complex, spectral complexity, Amino Acid Sequence, CRADD Signaling Adaptor Protein, Crystallography, X-Ray, Death Domain Receptor Signaling Adaptor Proteins, Humans, Models, Molecular, Multiprotein Complexes, Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, Biomolecular, Protein Structure, Tertiary, Spectrometry, Mass, Electrospray Ionization