The ataxia-telangiectasia mutated (ATM) protein is an apical kinase that orchestrates the multifaceted DNA-damage response. Normally, ATM kinase is in an inactive, homodimer form and is transformed into monomers upon activation. Besides a conserved kinase domain at the C terminus, ATM contains three other structural modules, referred to as FAT, FATC and N-terminal helical solenoid. Here we report the first cryo-EM structure of ATM kinase, which is an intact homodimeric ATM/Tel1 from Schizosaccharomyces pombe. We show that two monomers directly contact head-to-head through the FAT and kinase domains. The tandem N-terminal helical solenoid tightly packs against the FAT and kinase domains. The structure suggests that ATM/Tel1 dimer interface and the consecutive HEAT repeats inhibit the binding of kinase substrates and regulators by steric hindrance. Our study provides a structural framework for understanding the mechanisms of ATM/Tel1 regulation as well as the development of new therapeutic agents.
Wang, X., Chu, H., Lv, M., Zhang, Z., Qiu, S., Liu, H., … Cai, G. (2016). Structure of the intact ATM/Tel1 kinase. Nature Communications, 7. https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms11655