Unique functional and structural properties of the LRRK2 protein ATP-binding pocket

Academic Article


  • Pathogenic mutations in the LRRK2 gene can cause late-onset Parkinson disease. The most common mutation, G2019S, resides in the kinase domain and enhances activity. LRRK2 possesses the unique property of cis-autophosphorylation of its own GTPase domain. Because high-resolution structures of the human LRRK2 kinase domain are not available, we used novel high-throughput assays that measured both cis-autophosphorylation and trans-peptide phosphorylation to probe the ATP-binding pocket. We disclose hundreds of commercially available activity-selective LRRK2 kinase inhibitors. Some compounds inhibit cis-autophosphorylation more strongly than trans-peptide phosphorylation, and other compounds inhibit G2019S-LRRK2 more strongly than WT-LRRK2. Through exploitation of structure-activity relationships revealed through high-throughput analyses, we identified a useful probe inhibitor, SRI-29132 (11). SRI-29132 is exquisitely selective for LRRK2 kinase activity and is effective in attenuating proinflammatory responses in macrophages and rescuing neurite retraction phenotypes in neurons. Furthermore, the compound demonstrates excellent potency, is highly blood-brain barrier-permeant, but suffers from rapid first-pass metabolism. Despite the observed selectivity of SRI-29132, docking models highlighted critical interactions with residues conserved in many protein kinases, implying a unique structural configuration for the LRRK2 ATP-binding pocket. Although the human LRRK2 kinase domain is unstable and insoluble, we demonstrate that the LRRK2 homolog from ameba can be mutated to approximate some aspects of the human LRRK2 ATP-binding pocket. Our results provide a rich resource for LRRK2 small molecule inhibitor development. More broadly, our results provide a precedent for the functional interrogation of ATP-binding pockets when traditional approaches to ascertain structure prove difficult.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Liu Z; Galemmo RA; Fraser KB; Moehle MS; Sen S; Volpicelli-Daley LA; DeLucas LJ; Ross LJ; Valiyaveettil J; Moukha-Chafiq O
  • Start Page

  • 32937
  • End Page

  • 32951
  • Volume

  • 289
  • Issue

  • 47