Nanobodies as allosteric modulators of Parkinson's disease-associated LRRK2

Singh R. K. , Soliman A., Guaitoli G., Stoermer E., von Zweydorf F., Dal Maso T., ...More

PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, vol.119, no.9, 2022 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 119 Issue: 9
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1073/pnas.2112712119
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, Agricultural & Environmental Science Database, Animal Behavior Abstracts, Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA), Artic & Antarctic Regions, BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, Chemical Abstracts Core, EconLit, EMBASE, Food Science & Technology Abstracts, INSPEC, Linguistic Bibliography, MathSciNet, MEDLINE, Pollution Abstracts, Psycinfo, Public Affairs Index, Veterinary Science Database, zbMATH, DIALNET
  • Keywords: Parkinson's, disease, LRRK2, drug design, allosteric inhibitor, nanobody, KINASE 2 LRRK2, INHIBITION, DOMAIN, MUTATIONS, REVEALS, BINDING, DESIGN, MLI-2
  • Süleyman Demirel University Affiliated: No


Mutations in the gene coding for leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2) are a leading cause of the inherited form of Parkinson's disease (PD), while LRRK2 overactivation is also associated with the more common idiopathic form of PD. LRRK2 is a large multidomain protein, including a GTPase as well as a Ser/Thr protein kinase domain. Common, disease-causing mutations increase LRRK2 kinase activity, presenting LRRK2 as an attractive target for drug discovery. Currently, drug development has mainly focused on ATP-competitive kinase inhibitors. Here, we report the identification and characterization of a variety of nanobodies that bind to different LRRK2 domains and inhibit or activate LRRK2 in cells and in in vitro. Importantly, nanobodies were identified that inhibit LRRK2 kinase activity while binding to a site that is topographically distinct from the active site and thus act through an allosteric inhibitory mechanism that does not involve binding to the ATP pocket or even to the kinase domain. Moreover, while certain nanobodies completely inhibit the LRRK2 kinase activity, we also identified nanobodies that specifically inhibit the phosphorylation of Rab protein substrates. Finally, in contrast to current type I kinase inhibitors, the studied kinase-inhibitory nanobodies did not induce LRRK2 microtubule association. These comprehensively characterized nanobodies represent versatile tools to study the LRRK2 function and mechanism and can pave the way toward novel diagnostic and therapeutic strategies for PD.