SRGAP2 (Slit-Robo GTPase-activating protein 2) is a cytoplasmic protein found to be involved in neuronal branching, restriction of neuronal migration and restriction of the length and density of dendritic postsynaptic spines. The extended F-BAR (F-BARx) domain of SRGAP2 generates membrane protrusions when expressed in COS-7 cells, while most F-BARs induce the opposite effect: membrane invaginations. As a first step to understand this discrepancy, the F-BARx domain of SRGAP2 was isolated and crystallized after co-expression with the carboxy domains of the protein. Diffraction data were collected from two significantly non-isomorphous crystals in the same monoclinic C2 space group. A correct molecular-replacment solution was obtained by applying a molecular symmetry-constrained systematic search approach that took advantage of the conserved biological symmetry of the F-BAR domains. It is shown that similar approaches can solve other F-BAR structures that were previously determined by experimental phasing. Diffraction data were reprocessed with a high-resolution cutoff of 2.2 Å, chosen using less strict statistical criteria. This has improved the outcome of multi-crystal averaging and other density-modification procedures.
Keywords: F-BAR; SRGAP2; coiled coil; exhaustive search; molecular replacement.