WD40 Repeat Proteins: Signalling Scaffold with Diverse Functions

Protein J. 2018 Oct;37(5):391-406. doi: 10.1007/s10930-018-9785-7.


The WD40 domain is one of the most abundant and interacting domains in the eukaryotic genome. In proteins the WD domain folds into a β-propeller structure, providing a platform for the interaction and assembly of several proteins into a signalosome. WD40 repeats containing proteins, in lower eukaryotes, are mainly involved in growth, cell cycle, development and virulence, while in higher organisms, they play an important role in diverse cellular functions like signal transduction, cell cycle control, intracellular transport, chromatin remodelling, cytoskeletal organization, apoptosis, development, transcriptional regulation, immune responses. To play the regulatory role in various processes, they act as a scaffold for protein-protein or protein-DNA interaction. So far, no WD40 domain has been identified with intrinsic enzymatic activity. Several WD40 domain-containing proteins have been recently characterized in prokaryotes as well. The review summarizes the vast array of functions performed by different WD40 domain containing proteins, their domain organization and functional conservation during the course of evolution.

Keywords: Cell signalling; STRIPAK; Scaffold; WD40 protein.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / physiology*
  • Cell Cycle / physiology*
  • Chromatin Assembly and Disassembly / physiology*
  • Cytoskeleton / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Prokaryotic Cells / metabolism
  • Protein Folding
  • Transcription, Genetic / physiology*
  • WD40 Repeats / physiology*