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J Biol Chem. 2004 Feb 27;279(9):8018-28. Epub 2003 Dec 9.

Definition of the consensus motif recognized by gamma-adaptin ear domains.

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  • 1Cell Biology and Metabolism Branch, NICHD, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.


The heterotetrameric adaptor complex 1 (AP-1) and the monomeric Golgi-localized, gamma ear-containing, Arf-binding (GGA) proteins are components of clathrin coats associated with the trans-Golgi network and endosomes. The carboxyl-terminal ear domains (or gamma-adaptin ear (GAE) domains) of two gamma-adaptin subunit isoforms of AP-1 and of the GGAs are structurally similar and bind to a common set of accessory proteins. In this study, we have systematically defined a core tetrapeptide motif PsiG(P/D/E)(Psi/L/M) (where Psi is an aromatic residue), which is responsible for the interactions of accessory proteins with GAE domains. The definition of this motif has allowed us to identify novel GAE-binding partners named NECAP and aftiphilin, which also contain clathrin-binding motifs. These findings shed light on the mechanism of accessory protein recruitment to trans-Golgi network and endosomal clathrin coats.

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