Research Papers

PYK2 senses calcium through a disordered dimerization and calmodulin-binding element

by Afaque A Momin, Tiago Mendes, Philippe Barthe, Camille Faure, Seungbeom Hong, Piao Yu, Gress Kadaré, Mariusz Jaremko, Jean-Antoine Girault, Łukasz Jaremko, Stefan T Arold
communications biology Year: 2022 DOI: 10.1038/s42003-022-03760-8


Multidomain kinases use many ways to integrate and process diverse stimuli. Here, we investigated the mechanism by which the protein tyrosine kinase 2-beta (PYK2) functions as a sensor and effector of cellular calcium influx. We show that the linker between the PYK2 kinase and FAT domains (KFL) encompasses an unusual calmodulin (CaM) binding element. PYK2 KFL is disordered and engages CaM through an ensemble of transient binding events. Calcium increases the association by promoting structural changes in CaM that expose auxiliary interaction opportunities. KFL also forms fuzzy dimers, and dimerization is enhanced by CaM binding. As a monomer, however, KFL associates with the PYK2 FERM-kinase fragment. Thus, we identify a mechanism whereby calcium influx can promote PYK2 self-association, and hence kinase-activating trans-autophosphorylation. Collectively, our findings describe a flexible protein module that expands the paradigms for CaM binding and self-association, and their use for controlling kinase activity.


PYK2 calcium calmodulin NMR