Crystal structure of the S18Y variant of ubiquitin carboxy terminal hydrolase L1 bound to ubiquitin vinylmethylester.
[UCHL1_HUMAN] Defects in UCHL1 are the cause of Parkinson disease type 5 (PARK5) [MIM:613643]; also known as Parkinson disease autosomal dominant 5. PARK5 is a complex neurodegenerative disorder with manifestations ranging from typical Parkinson disease to dementia with Lewy bodies. Clinical features include parkinsonian symptoms (resting tremor, rigidity, postural instability and bradykinesia), dementia, diffuse Lewy body pathology, autonomic dysfunction, hallucinations and paranoia.   
[UCHL1_HUMAN] Ubiquitin-protein hydrolase involved both in the processing of ubiquitin precursors and of ubiquitinated proteins. This enzyme is a thiol protease that recognizes and hydrolyzes a peptide bond at the C-terminal glycine of ubiquitin. Also binds to free monoubiquitin and may prevent its degradation in lysosomes. The homodimer may have ATP-independent ubiquitin ligase activity.  
Publication Abstract from PubMed
Ubiquitin carboxy-terminal hydrolase L1 (UCHL1) is a Parkinson disease-associated, putative cysteine protease found abundantly and selectively expressed in neurons. The crystal structure of apo UCHL1 showed that the active-site residues are not aligned in a canonical form, with the nucleophilic cysteine being 7.7 A from the general base histidine, an arrangement consistent with an inactive form of the enzyme. Here we report the crystal structures of the wild type and two Parkinson disease-associated variants of the enzyme, S18Y and I93M, bound to a ubiquitin-based suicide substrate, ubiquitin vinyl methyl ester. These structures reveal that ubiquitin vinyl methyl ester binds primarily at two sites on the enzyme, with its carboxy terminus at the active site and with its amino-terminal beta-hairpin at the distal site-a surface-exposed hydrophobic crevice 17 A away from the active site. Binding at the distal site initiates a cascade of side-chain movements in the enzyme that starts at a highly conserved, surface-exposed phenylalanine and is relayed to the active site resulting in the reorientation and proximal placement of the general base within 4 A of the catalytic cysteine, an arrangement found in productive cysteine proteases. Mutation of the distal-site, surface-exposed phenylalanine to alanine reduces ubiquitin binding and severely impairs the catalytic activity of the enzyme. These results suggest that the activity of UCHL1 may be regulated by its own substrate.
Ubiquitin vinyl methyl ester binding orients the misaligned active site of the ubiquitin hydrolase UCHL1 into productive conformation.,Boudreaux DA, Maiti TK, Davies CW, Das C Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010 May 18;107(20):9117-22. Epub 2010 May 3. PMID:20439756
From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.