Crystalizing the CRD:
Nice job Trinity! Our paper published in Biomolecules showcases the first high-resolution structure of the Raf Kinase cystein-rich domain (CRD) bound to Ras providing insight into the role of this domain.
Ras and Raf-kinase interact through the Ras-binding (RBD) and cysteine-rich domains (CRD) of Raf to signal through the mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway, yet the molecular mechanism leading to Raf activation has remained elusive. We present the 2.8 Å crystal structure of the HRas–CRaf-RBD_CRD complex showing the Ras–Raf interface as a continuous surface on Ras, as seen in the KRas–CRaf-RBD_CRD structure. In molecular dynamics simulations of a Ras dimer model formed through the α4–α5 interface, the CRD is dynamic and located between the two Ras protomers, poised for direct or allosteric modulation of functionally relevant regions of Ras and Raf. We propose a molecular model in which Ras binding is involved in the release of Raf autoinhibition while the Ras–Raf complex dimerizes to promote a platform for signal amplification, with Raf-CRD centrally located to impact regulation and function.