The laminin-binding domain of agrin is structurally related to N-TIMP-1

Richard Kammerer, Jörg Stetefeld, Margrit Jenny, Therese Schulthess, Ruth Landwehr, Beat Schumacher, Sabine Frank, Markus A. Rüegg, Jürgen Engel, Richard A. Kammerer

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Agrin is the key organizer of postsynaptic differentiation at the neuromuscular junction. This organization activity requires the binding of agrin to the synaptic basal lamina. Binding is conferred by the N-terminal agrin (NtA) domain, which mediates a high-affinity interaction with the coiled coil domain of laminins. Here, we report the crystal structure of chicken NtA at 1.6 Å resolution. The structure reveals that NtA harbors an oligosaccharide/oligonucleotide-binding fold with several possible sites for the interaction with different ligands. A high structural similarity of NtA with the protease inhibition domain in tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases-1 (TIMP-1) supports the idea of additional functions of agrin besides synaptogenic activity.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)705-709
    Number of pages4
    JournalNature Structural Biology
    Issue number8
    Publication statusPublished - 2001


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