MICALs (Molecule Interacting with CasL) are conserved multidomain enzymes essential for cytoskeletal reorganization in nerve development, endocytosis, and apoptosis. In these enzymes, a type-2 calponin homology (CH) domain always follows an N-terminal monooxygenase (MO) domain. Although the CH domain is required for MICAL-1 cellular localization and actin-associated function, its contribution to the modulation of MICAL activity towards actin remains unclear. Here, we present the structure of a fragment of MICAL-1 containing the MO and the CH domains - determined by X-ray crystallography and small angle scattering - as well as kinetics experiments designed to probe the contribution of the CH domain to the actin-modification activity. Our results suggest that the CH domain, which is loosely connected to the MO domain by a flexible linker and is far away from the catalytic site, couples F-actin to the enhancement of redox activity of MICALMO-CH by a cooperative mechanism involving a trans interaction between adjacently bound molecules. Binding cooperativity is also observed in other proteins regulating actin assembly/disassembly dynamics, such as ADF/Cofilins.
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