Structural basis of human LRRK2 membrane recruitment and activation

Hanwen Zhu, Francesca Tonelli, Dario Alessi, Ji Sun

Research output: Working paper/PreprintPreprint

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Mutations in LRRK2 are the most common genetic cause of late-onset Parkinson’s disease (PD). LRRK2 encodes the leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2), whose kinase activity is regulated by Rab29, a membrane-anchored GTPase. However, molecular mechanisms underlying Rab29-dependent recruitment and activation of LRRK2 remain unclear. Here we report cryo-EM structures of LRRK2–Rab29 complexes in three oligomeric states, illustrating snapshots of key steps during LRRK2 membrane recruitment and activation. Rab29 binds to the ARM domain of LRRK2, and disruption at the interface abrogates LRRK2 kinase activity. Activation of LRRK2 is underpinned by the formation of an unexpected Rab29-induced super-assembly containing two central kinase-active and two peripheral kinase-inactive LRRK2 protomers. Central protomers undergo pronounced oligomerization-associated rearrangements and adopt an active conformation. Our work reveals the structural mechanism for LRRK2’s spatial regulation controlled by Rab GTPases, provides mechanistic insights into pathogenic mutations and identifies new opportunities to design LRRK2 inhibitors for PD treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 26 Apr 2022


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