Modeled structural basis for the recognition of a2-3-sialyllactose by soluble Klotho

Jon D. Wright, Sung Wan An, Jian Xie, Joonho Yoon, Nicole Nischan, Jennifer J. Kohler, Noelynn Oliver, Carmay Lim, Chou Long Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Soluble Klotho (sKlotho) is the shed ectodomain of antiaging membrane Klotho that contains 2 extracellular domains KL1 and KL2, each of which shares sequence homology to glycosyl hydrolases. sKlotho elicits pleiotropic cellular responses with a poorly understood mechanism of action. Notably, in injury settings, sKlotho confers cardiac and renal protection by down-regulating calcium-permeable transient receptor potential canonical type isoform 6 (TRPC6) channels in cardiomyocytes and glomerular podocytes. Inhibition of PI3K-dependent exocytosis of TRPC6 is thought to be the underlying mechanism, and recent studies showed that sKlotho interacts with a2-3-sialyllactose-containing gangliosides enriched in lipid rafts to inhibit raft-dependent PI3K signaling. However, the structural basis for binding and recognition of a2-3-sialyllactose by sKlotho is unknown. Using homology modeling followed by docking, we identified key protein residues in the KL1 domain that are likely involved in binding sialyllactose. Functional experiments based on the ability of Klotho to down-regulate TRPC6 channel activity confirm the importance of these residues. Furthermore, KL1 domain binds a2-3-sialyllactose, down-regulates TRPC6 channels, and exerts protection against stress-induced cardiac hypertrophy in mice. Our results support the notion that sialogangliosides and lipid rafts are membrane receptors for sKlotho and that the KL1 domain is sufficient for the tested biologic activities. These findings can help guide the design of a simpler Klotho mimetic.—Wright, J. D., An, S.-W., Xie, J., Yoon, J., Nischan, N., Kohler, J. J., Oliver, N., Lim, C., Huang, C.-L. Modeled structural basis for the recognition of a2-3-sialyllactose by soluble Klotho.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3574-3586
Number of pages13
JournalFASEB Journal
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2017


  • KL1 domain
  • PI3K
  • TRPC6

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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