TMEM120 is a coenzyme A-binding membrane protein with structural similarities to ELOVL fatty acid elongase
TMEM120A, also named as TACAN, is a novel membrane protein highly conserved in vertebrates and was recently proposed to be a mechanosensitive channel involved in sensing mechanical pain. Here we present the single particle cryo-EM structure of human TMEM120A which forms a tightly packed dimer with extensive interactions mediate by the N-terminal coiled coil domain (CCD), the C-terminal transmembrane domain (TMD), and the re-entrant loop between the two domains. The TMD of each TMEM120A subunit contains six transmembrane helices (TMs) and has no clear structural feature of a channel protein. Instead, the six TMs form an α-barrel with a deep pocket where a coenzyme A (CoA) molecule is bound. Intriguingly, some structural features of TMEM120A resemble those of elongase for very long-chain fatty acid (ELOVL) despite low sequence homology between them, pointing to the possibility that TEME120A may function as an enzyme for fatty acid metabolism, rather than a mechanosensitive channel.