Homo- and heterodimerization of ROCO kinases: LRRK2 kinase inhibition by the LRRK2 ROCO fragment

Christian L. Klein, Giorgio Rovelli, Wolfdieter Springer, Christoph Schall, Thomas Gasser, Philipp J. Kahle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


Mutations in the gene encoding leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2) are the most common cause of autosomal-dominant familial and late-onset sporadic Parkinson's disease (PD). LRRK2 is a large multi-domain protein featuring a GTP-binding C-terminal of Ras of complex proteins (ROC) (ROCO) domain combination unique for the ROCO protein family, directly followed by a kinase domain. Dimerization is a well-established phenomenon among protein kinases. Here, we confirm LRRK2 self-interaction, and provide evidence for general homo- and heterodimerization potential among the ROCO kinase family (LRRK2, LRRK1, and death-associated protein kinase 1). The ROCO domain was critically, though not exclusively involved in dimerization, as a LRRK2 deletion mutant lacking the ROCO domain retained dimeric properties. GTP binding did not appear to influence ROCOLRRK2 self-interaction. Interestingly, ROCOLRRK2 fragments exerted an inhibitory effect on both wild-type and the elevated G2019S LRRK2 autophosphorylation activity. Insertion of PD mutations into ROCO LRRK2 reduced self-interaction and led to a reduction of LRRK2 kinase inhibition. Collectively, these results suggest a functional link between ROCO interactions and kinase activity of wild-type and mutant LRRK2. Importantly, our finding of ROCOLRRK2 fragment-mediated LRRK2 kinase inhibition offers a novel lead for drug design and thus might have important implications for new therapeutic avenues in PD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)703-715
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of neurochemistry
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 2009


  • Death-associated protein kinase 1
  • Dimerization
  • Kinase inhibition
  • Leucine-rich repeat kinase 1
  • Leucine-rich repeat kinase 2
  • Parkinson's disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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