Tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-receptor-associated factors (TRAFs) form a family of cytoplasmic adapter proteins that mediate signal transduction from many members of the TNF-receptor superfamily and the interleukin-1 receptor. They are important in the regulation of cell survival and cell death. The carboxy-terminal region of TRAFs (the TRAF domain) is required for self-association and interaction with receptors. The domain contains a predicted coiled-coil region that is followed by a highly conserved TRAF-C domain. Here we report the crystal structure of the TRAF domain of human TRAF2, both alone and in complex with a peptide from TNF receptor-2 (TNF-R2). The structures reveal a trimeric self-association of the TRAF domain, which we confirm by studies in solution. The TRAF-C domain forms a new, eight-stranded antiparallel beta-sandwich structure. The TNF-R2 peptide binds to a conserved shallow surface depression on one TRAF-C domain and does not contact the other protomers of the trimer. The nature of the interaction indicates that an SXXE motif may be a TRAF2-binding consensus sequence. The trimeric structure of the TRAF domain provides an avidity-based explanation for the dependence of TRAF recruitment on the oligomerization of the receptors by their trimeric extracellular ligands.
SciCrunch is a data sharing and display platform. Anyone can create a custom portal where they can select searchable subsets of hundreds of data sources, brand their web pages and create their community. SciCrunch will push data updates automatically to all portals on a weekly basis. User communities can also add their own data to SciCrunch, however this is not currently a free service.