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Our new publication in Journal of Biological Chemistry: Biophysical and Structural Characterization of the Thioredoxin-binding Domain of Protein Kinase ASK1 and Its Interaction with Reduced Thioredoxin.

Kosek D, Kylarova S, Psenakova K, Rezabkova L, Herman P, Vecer J, Obsilova V, Obsil T.

J Biol Chem. 2014 Aug 29;289(35):24463-74.

Apoptosis signal-regulating kinase 1 (ASK1), a mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase kinase, plays a key role in the pathogenesis of multiple diseases. Its activity is regulated by thioredoxin (TRX1) but the precise mechanism of this regulation is unclear due to the lack of structural data. Here, we performed biophysical and structural characterization of the TRX1-binding domain of ASK1 (ASK1-TBD) and its complex with reduced TRX1. ASK1-TBD is a monomeric and rigid domain that forms a stable complex with reduced TRX1 with 1:1 molar stoichiometry. The binding interaction does not involve the formation of intermolecular disulfide bonds. Residues from the catalytic WCGPC motif of TRX1 are essential for complex stability with Trp(31) being directly involved in the binding interaction as suggested by time-resolved fluorescence. Small-angle x-ray scattering data reveal a compact and slightly asymmetric shape of ASK1-TBD and suggest reduced TRX1 interacts with this domain through the large binding interface without inducing any dramatic conformational change.