Sharpening rhomboid specificity by dimerisation and allostery



In this issue of The EMBO Journal, mechanistic analyses of substrate cleavage by rhomboid intramembrane proteases suggest that catalytic efficiency towards natural, transmembrane substrates is allosterically stimulated by initial substrate interaction with an intramembrane exosite, whose formation depends on rhomboid dimerisation. In the realm of intramembrane proteolysis, dimerisation and allosteric cooperativity represent new concepts that, once confirmed more broadly, should radically alter our view of how these proteases work.