Structural analysis of the full-length human LRRK2

Cell. 2021 Jun 3;S0092-8674(21)00601-2. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2021.05.004. Online ahead of print.


Mutations in leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2) are commonly implicated in the pathogenesis of both familial and sporadic Parkinson's disease (PD). LRRK2 regulates critical cellular processes at membranous organelles and forms microtubule-based pathogenic filaments, yet the molecular basis underlying these biological roles of LRRK2 remains largely enigmatic. Here, we determined high-resolution structures of full-length human LRRK2, revealing its architecture and key interdomain scaffolding elements for rationalizing disease-causing mutations. The kinase domain of LRRK2 is captured in an inactive state, a conformation also adopted by the most common PD-associated mutation, LRRK2G2019S. This conformation serves as a framework for structure-guided design of conformational specific inhibitors. We further determined the structure of COR-mediated LRRK2 dimers and found that single-point mutations at the dimer interface abolished pathogenic filamentation in cells. Overall, our study provides mechanistic insights into physiological and pathological roles of LRRK2 and establishes a structural template for future therapeutic intervention in PD.

Keywords: LRRK2; LRRK2 dimer; LRRK2 mutations; Parkinson's disease; kinase.