Interactions of the auxilin-1 PTEN-like domain with model membranes result in nanoclustering of phosphatidyl inositol phosphates.
Kalli AC., Morgan G., Sansom MSP.
Auxilin-1 is a neuron-specific membrane-binding protein involved in a late stage of clathrin-mediated endocytosis. It recruits Hsc70, thus initiating uncoating of the clathrin-coated vesicles. Interactions of auxilin-1 with the vesicle membrane are crucial for this function and are mediated via an N-terminal PTEN-like domain. We have used multiscale molecular dynamics simulations to probe the interactions of the auxilin-1 PTEN-like domain with lipid bilayers containing differing phospholipid composition, including bilayers containing phosphatidyl inositol phosphates. Our results suggest a novel, to our knowledge, model for the auxilin/membrane encounter and subsequent interactions. Negatively charged lipids (especially PIP2) enhance binding of auxilin to lipid bilayers and facilitate its correct orientation relative to the membrane. Mutations in three basic residues (R301E/R307E/K311E) of the C2 subdomain of the PTEN-like domain perturbed its interaction with the bilayer, changing its orientation. The interaction of membrane-bound auxilin-1 PTEN-like domain with negatively charged lipid headgroups results in nanoclustering of PIP2 molecules in the adjacent bilayer leaflet.