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2019 - An Intrinsically Disordered Region in OSBP Acts as an Entropic Barrier to Control Protein Dynamics and Orientation at Membrane Contact Sites

icon vpp   Vesicle Prep Pro publication in Developmental Cell (2019)

Jamecna D., Polidori J., Mesmin B., Dezi M., Levy D., Bigay J., Antonny B.

Developmental Cell (2019) In Press, Corrected Proof


  • OSBP contains an N-terminal intrinsically disordered region (N-ter)
  • The N-ter limits OSBP membrane density without affecting affinity for PI(4)P
  • By limiting OSBP surface density, the N-ter facilitates OSBP in-plane diffusion
  • The N-ter also controls OSBP orientation at membrane contact sites


Lipid transfer proteins (LTPs) acting at membrane contact sites (MCS) between the ER and other organelles contain domains involved in heterotypic (e.g., ER to Golgi) membrane tethering as well as domains involved in lipid transfer. Here, we show that a long ≈90 aa intrinsically unfolded sequence at the N terminus of oxysterol-binding protein (OSBP) controls OSBP orientation and dynamics at MCS. This Gly-Pro-Ala-rich sequence, whose hydrodynamic radius is twice as that of folded domains, prevents the two PH domains of the OSBP dimer from homotypically tethering two Golgi-like membranes and considerably facilitates OSBP in-plane diffusion and recycling at MCS. Although quite distant in sequence, the N terminus of OSBP-related protein-4 (ORP4) has similar effects. We propose that N-terminal sequences of low complexity in ORPs form an entropic barrier that restrains protein orientation, limits protein density, and facilitates protein mobility in the narrow and crowded MCS environment.

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