BACKGROUND: Mutations in leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2) are the most common genetic cause of Parkinson disease (PD). LRRK2 contains an "enzymatic core" composed of GTPase and kinase domains that is flanked by leucine-rich repeat (LRR) and WD40 protein-protein interaction domains. While kinase activity and GTP-binding have both been implicated in LRRK2 neurotoxicity, the potential role of other LRRK2 domains has not been as extensively explored. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We demonstrate that LRRK2 normally exists in a dimeric complex, and that removing the WD40 domain prevents complex formation and autophosphorylation. Moreover, loss of the WD40 domain completely blocks the neurotoxicity of multiple LRRK2 PD mutations. CONCLUSION: These findings suggest that LRRK2 dimerization and autophosphorylation may be required for the neurotoxicity of LRRK2 PD mutations and highlight a potential role for the WD40 domain in the mechanism of LRRK2-mediated cell death.
Jorgensen, N. D., Peng, Y., Ho, C. C. Y., Rideout, H. J., Petrey, D., Liu, P., & Dauer, W. T. (2009). The WD40 domain is required for LRRK2 neurotoxicity. PLoS ONE, 4(12). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0008463