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MuRF1 (TRIM63) is a RING-type E3 ubiquitin ligase with a predicted tripartite TRIM fold. TRIM proteins rely upon the correct placement of an N-terminal RING domain, with respect to C-terminal, specific substrate-binding domains. The TRIM domain organization is orchestrated by a central helical domain that forms an antiparallel coiled-coil motif and mediates the dimerization of the fold. MuRF1 has a reduced TRIM composition characterized by a lack of specific substrate binding domains, but contains in its helical domain a conserved sequence motif termed COS-box that has been speculated to fold independently into an α-hairpin. These characteristics had led to question whether MuRF1 adopts a canonical TRIM fold. Using a combination of electron paramagnetic resonance, on spin-labeled protein, and disulfide crosslinking, we show that TRIM63 follows the structural conservation of the TRIM dimerization domain, observed in other proteins. We also show that the COS-box motif folds back onto the dimerization coiled-coil motif, predictably forming a four-helical bundle at the center of the protein and emulating the architecture of canonical TRIMs.
- TRIM fold
- disulfide cross-linking
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