A dynamically interacting flexible loop assists oligomerisation of the Caenorhabditis elegans centriolar protein SAS-6.
Busch JMC., Erat MC., Blank ID., Musgaard M., Biggin PC., Vakonakis I.
Centrioles are conserved organelles fundamental for the organisation of microtubules in animal cells. Oligomerisation of the spindle assembly abnormal protein 6 (SAS-6) is an essential step in the centriole assembly process and may act as trigger for the formation of these organelles. SAS-6 oligomerisation is driven by two independent interfaces, comprising an extended coiled coil and a dimeric N-terminal globular domain. However, how SAS-6 oligomerisation is controlled remains unclear. Here, we show that in the Caenorhabditis elegans SAS-6, a segment of the N-terminal globular domain, unresolved in crystallographic structures, comprises a flexible loop that assists SAS-6 oligomerisation. Atomistic molecular dynamics simulations and nuclear magnetic resonance experiments suggest that transient interactions of this loop across the N-terminal dimerisation interface stabilise the SAS-6 oligomer. We discuss the possibilities presented by such flexible SAS-6 segments for the control of centriole formation.