Editors' ChoiceStructural Biology

Zinc Links in a Receptor-Kinase Complex

Science's STKE  23 Sep 2003:
Vol. 2003, Issue 201, pp. tw369-TW369
DOI: 10.1126/stke.2003.201.tw369

Association of the T cell coreceptors CD-4 and CD-8 with the cytoplasmic kinase Lck regulates T cell activation and maturation. Kim et al. have explored the requirement for zinc in this interaction and report that the metal ion acts as a clasp that stabilizes a receptor-Lck complex. Peptides corresponding to a short region of Lck and in either receptor's cytoplasmic tail were unordered, but the presence of zinc induced the synergistic mutual folding of the peptides. Protein modifications could unlatch the clasp and modulate receptor-Lck binding.

P. W. Kim, Z.-Y. J. Sun, S. C. Blacklow, G. Wagner, M. J. Eck, A zinc clasp structure tethers Lck to T cell coreceptors CD4 and CD8. Science 301, 1725-1728 (2003). [Abstract] [Full Text]