Structural Basis for Rab8a Recruitment of RILPL2 via LRRK2 Phosphorylation of Switch 2

Dieter Waschbüsch, Elena Purlyte, Prosenjit Pal, Emma McGrath, Dario R. Alessi, Amir R. Khan (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)
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Rab8a is associated with the dynamic regulation of membrane protrusions in polarized cells. Rab8a is one of several Rab GTPases that are substrates of leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2), a serine/threonine kinase that is linked to Parkinson's disease. Rab8a is phosphorylated at T72 (pT72) in its switch 2 helix and recruits the phospho-specific effector RILPL2, which subsequently regulates ciliogenesis. Here, we report the crystal structure of phospho-Rab8a (pRab8a) in complex with the RH2 (RILP homology) domain of RILPL2. The complex is a heterotetramer with RILPL2 forming a central α-helical dimer that bridges two pRab8a molecules. The N termini of the α helices cross over, forming an X-shaped cap (X-cap) that orients Arg residues from RILPL2 toward pT72. X-cap residues critical for pRab8a binding are conserved in JIP3 and JIP4, which also interact with LRRK2-phosphorylated Rab10. We propose a general mode of recognition for phosphorylated Rab GTPases by this family of phospho-specific effectors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)406-417.e6
Number of pages19
Issue number4
Early online date3 Feb 2020
Publication statusPublished - 7 Apr 2020


  • JNK-interacting protein 3 and 4
  • LRRK2 kinase
  • RILP-like protein 2
  • Rab8a GTPase
  • effector
  • membrane trafficking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology
  • Molecular Biology


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