Protein models of an Arabidopsis thaliana receptor and its ligand


3D-printed RLP30 and NLP

We wanted to challenge our 3D-printer and printed scientific correct protein models. Being molecular phytopathologists we, of course, had to print a plant receptor and an elicitor!

In greenish yellow you see the ectodomain of RLP30 from Arabidopsis thaliana. It belongs to the leucine-rich repeat receptor-like proteins (LRR-RLPs) and is required for the perception of the microbe-associated molecular pattern SCFE1 from Sclerotinia sclerotiorum (Zhang et al 2013). And the part in grey is the necrosis and ethylene-inducing peptide 1 (Nep1)-like protein (NLP), which is a widespread toxin present in bacteria, fungi and oomycetes (Ottmann et al, 2009; Lenarčič et al, 2017). Well, technically NLP is not sensed by RLP30 but by the closely related RLP23. However, the LRR ectodomains are very similar and as it happens the NLP perfectly fits to the RLP30 ectodomain. But this is probably more a coincidence because the recognized sequence of NLP is just 20 amino acids long.

RLP30 was printed with an Ultimaker Original + using PLA and supports. NLP was printed with an Ultimaker 3 using PLA and PVA for support structures. Both models can be downloaded at Youmagine. We created the models from crystal structures by following this protocol in the ASCB forum.


Ottmann C, Luberacki B, Küfner I, et al. A common toxin fold mediates microbial attack and plant defense. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2009;106(25):10359-10364. doi:10.1073/pnas.0902362106.
Lenarčič T, Albert I, Böhm H, et al. Eudicot plant-specific sphingolipids determine host selectivity of microbial NLP cytolysins. Science. 2017;358(6369):1431-1434. doi:10.1126/science.aan6874.
Zhang W, Fraiture M, Kolb D, et al. Arabidopsis RECEPTOR-LIKE PROTEIN30 and Receptor-Like Kinase SUPPRESSOR OF BIR1-1/EVERSHED Mediate Innate Immunity to Necrotrophic Fungi. The Plant Cell. 2013;25(10):4227-4241. doi:10.1105/tpc.113.117010.

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