Spectraplakins are large molecules that cross-link F-actin and microtubules (MTs). Mutations in spectraplakins yield defective cell polarization, aberrant focal adhesion dynamics, and dystonia. We present the 2.8 Å crystal structure of the hACF7 EF1-EF2-GAR MT-binding module and delineate the GAR residues critical for MT binding. The EF1-EF2 and GAR domains are autonomous domains connected by a flexible linker. The EF1-EF2 domain is an EFβ-scaffold with two bound Ca2+ ions that straddle an N-terminal α helix. The GAR domain has a unique α/β sandwich fold that coordinates Zn2+. While the EF1-EF2 domain is not sufficient for MT binding, the GAR domain is and likely enhances EF1-EF2-MT engagement. Residues in a conserved basic patch, distal to the GAR domain's Zn2+-binding site, mediate MT binding.
Keywords: ACF7; EF Hand; GAR; Gas2; MACF1; actin; microtubule; spectraplakin.
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