Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences

, Volume 65, Issue 15, pp 2307–2333 | Cite as

The leucine-rich repeat structure

  • J. Bella
  • K. L. Hindle
  • P. A. McEwan
  • S. C. Lovell
Review

Abstract.

The leucine-rich repeat is a widespread structural motif of 20–30 amino acids with a characteristic repetitive sequence pattern rich in leucines. Leucine-rich repeat domains are built from tandems of two or more repeats and form curved solenoid structures that are particularly suitable for protein-protein interactions. Thousands of protein sequences containing leucine-rich repeats have been identified by automatic annotation methods. Three-dimensional structures of leucine-rich repeat domains determined to date reveal a degree of structural variability that translates into the considerable functional versatility of this protein superfamily. As the essential structural principles become well established, the leucine-rich repeat architecture is emerging as an attractive framework for structural prediction and protein engineering. This review presents an update of the current understanding of leucine-rich repeat structure at the primary, secondary, tertiary and quaternary levels and discusses specific examples from recently determined three-dimensional structures.

Keywords.

Leucine-rich repeat protein structure protein conformation protein-protein interactions molecular sequence data molecular models protein engineering repetitive sequences 

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Copyright information

© Birkhaueser 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Bella
    • 1
  • K. L. Hindle
    • 1
  • P. A. McEwan
    • 2
  • S. C. Lovell
    • 1
  1. 1.Wellcome Trust Centre for Cell-Matrix Research, Faculty of Life SciencesUniversity of ManchesterManchesterUK
  2. 2.School of Pharmacy, Centre for Biomolecular SciencesUniversity of Nottingham, University ParkNottinghamUK

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