Structural basis for spectrin recognition by ankyrin

Jonathan J. Ipsaro, Alfonso Mondragón*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


Maintenance of membrane integrity and organization in the metazoan cell is accomplished through intracellular tethering of membrane proteins to an extensive, flexible protein network. Spectrin, the principal component of this network, is anchored to membrane proteins through the adaptor protein ankyrin. To elucidate the atomic basis for this interaction, we determined a crystal structure of human βI-spectrin repeats 13 to 15 in complex with the ZU5-ANK domain of human ankyrin R. The structure reveals the role of repeats 14 to 15 in binding, the electrostatic and hydrophobic contributions along the interface, and the necessity for a particular orientation of the spectrin repeats. Using structural and biochemical data as a guide, we characterized the individual proteins and their interactions by binding and thermal stability analyses. In addition to validating the structural model, these data provide insight into the nature of some mutations associated with cell morphology defects, including those found in human diseases such as hereditary spherocytosis and elliptocytosis. Finally, analysis of the ZU5 domain suggests it is a versatile protein-protein interaction module with distinct interaction surfaces. The structure represents not only the first of a spectrin fragment in complex with its binding partner, but also that of an intermolecular complex involving a ZU5 domain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4093-4101
Number of pages9
Issue number20
StatePublished - May 20 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Immunology
  • Hematology
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Structural basis for spectrin recognition by ankyrin'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this