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J Biol Chem. 1990 Jun 25;265(18):10589-96.

Mapping the binding sites of human erythrocyte ankyrin for the anion exchanger and spectrin.

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  • 1Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina 27710.


This report describes initial characterization of the binding sites of ankyrin for spectrin and the anion exchanger using defined subfragments isolated from purified ankyrin domains. The spectrin-binding domain of ankyrin is comprised of two subdomains: an acidic, proline-rich region (pI = 4) involving the amino-terminal 80 residues from 828 to 908 and a basic region (pI = 8.8) that extends from 898 to 1386. The amino-terminal 70 amino acids of the spectrin-binding domain are critical for association with spectrin, since a subfragment missing this region is only 5% as active as the intact domain in displacing binding of spectrin to inside-out membrane vesicles, while deletion of the first 38 residues of the acidic domain results in a 10-fold reduction in activity. The anion exchanger-binding site is confined to an 89-kDa domain that was isolated and characterized as a globular molecule with approximately 30% alpha-helical configuration. A subfragment of the 89-kDa domain extending from residues 403 to 779 (or possibly 740) retains ability to associate with the anion exchanger. The 89-kDa domain is comprised of a series of tandem repeats of 33 amino acids that extend from residues 35 to 778 (Lux, S., John, K., and Bennett, V. (1990) Nature 344, 36-42). The activity of residues 403-779 demonstrates that the 33-amino acid repeats of the 89-kDa domain are responsible for association between ankyrin and the anion exchanger. The 33-amino acid repeating sequence of ankyrin represents an ancient motif also found in proteins of Drosophila, yeast, and Caenor habditis elegans. The finding that the 33-amino acid repeating sequence is involved in interaction with the anion exchanger implies that this motif may perform a role in molecular recognition in diverse proteins.

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