Crystal Structure Analysis of GM2-activator protein complexed with Phosphatidylcholine
[SAP3_HUMAN] Defects in GM2A are the cause of GM2-gangliosidosis type AB (GM2GAB) [MIM:272750]; also known as Tay-Sachs disease AB variant. GM2-gangliosidosis is an autosomal recessive lysosomal storage disease marked by the accumulation of GM2 gangliosides in the neuronal cells. GM2GAB is characterized by GM2 gangliosides accumulation in the presence of both hexosaminidase A and B.  
[SAP3_HUMAN] The large binding pocket can accommodate several single chain phospholipids and fatty acids, GM2A also exhibits some calcium-independent phospholipase activity (By similarity). Binds gangliosides and stimulates ganglioside GM2 degradation. It stimulates only the breakdown of ganglioside GM2 and glycolipid GA2 by beta-hexosaminidase A. It extracts single GM2 molecules from membranes and presents them in soluble form to beta-hexosaminidase A for cleavage of N-acetyl-D-galactosamine and conversion to GM3.
Publication Abstract from PubMed
GM2-activator protein (GM2AP) is a lysosomal lipid transfer protein with important biological roles in ganglioside catabolism, phospholipid metabolism, and T-cell activation. Previous studies of crystal structures of GM2AP complexed with the physiological ligand GM2 and platelet activating factor (PAF) have shown binding at two specific locations within the spacious apolar pocket and an ordering effect of endogenous resident lipids. To investigate the structural basis of phospholipid binding further, GM2AP was cocrystallized with phosphatidylcholine (PC), known to interact with GM2AP. Analysis of three crystal forms revealed binding of single chain lipids and fatty acids only and surprisingly not intact PC. The regions of best defined electron density are consistent with the presence of lyso-PC and oleic acid, which constitute deacylation products of PC. Their acyl tails are in stacking contact with shorter, less well-defined stretches of electron density that may represent resident fatty acids. The GM2AP associated hydrolytic activity that generates lyso-PC was further confirmed by mass spectrometry and enzymatic assays. In addition, we report the structures of (i) mutant Y137S, assessing the role of Tyr137 in lipid transfer via the hydrophobic cleft, and (ii) apo-mouse GM2AP, revealing a hydrophobic pocket with a constricted opening. Our structural results provide new insights into the biological functions of GM2AP. The combined effect of hydrolytic and lipid transfer properties has profound implications in cellular signaling.
Crystal structure analysis of phosphatidylcholine-GM2-activator product complexes: evidence for hydrolase activity.,Wright CS, Mi LZ, Lee S, Rastinejad F Biochemistry. 2005 Oct 18;44(41):13510-21. PMID:16216074
From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.