Ire1 is an ancient transmembrane sensor of ER stress with dual protein kinase and ribonuclease activities. In response to ER stress, Ire1 catalyzes the splicing of target mRNAs in a spliceosome-independent manner. We have determined the crystal structure of the dual catalytic region of Ire1at 2.4 Å resolution, revealing the fusion of a domain, which we term the KEN domain, to the protein kinase domain. Dimerization of the kinase domain composes a large catalytic surface on the KEN domain which carries out ribonuclease function. We further show that signal induced trans-autophosphorylation of the kinase domain permits unfettered binding of nucleotide, which in turn promotes dimerization to compose the ribonuclease active site. Comparison of Ire1 to a topologically disparate ribonuclease reveals the convergent evolution of their catalytic mechanism. These findings provide a basis for understanding the mechanism of action of RNaseL and other pseudokinases, which represent 10% of the human kinome.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)