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J Cell Biol. 1997 Oct 6;139(1):169-79.

Identification of EBP50: A PDZ-containing phosphoprotein that associates with members of the ezrin-radixin-moesin family.

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  • 1Section of Biochemistry, Molecular and Cell Biology, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853, USA.


Members of the ezrin-radixin-moesin (ERM) family of membrane-cytoskeletal linking proteins have NH2- and COOH-terminal domains that associate with the plasma membrane and the actin cytoskeleton, respectively. To search for ERM binding partners potentially involved in membrane association, tissue lysates were subjected to affinity chromatography on the immobilized NH2-terminal domains of ezrin and moesin, which comprise the ezrin-radixin-moesin-association domain (N-ERMAD). A collection of polypeptides at 50-53 kD from human placenta and at 58-59 kD from bovine brain bound directly to both N-ERMADs. The 50-53-kD placental proteins migrated as a major 50-kD species after phosphatase treatment, indicating that the heterogeneity is due to different phosphorylation states. We refer to these polypeptides as ERM-binding phosphoprotein 50 (EBP50). Sequence analysis of human EBP50 was used to identify an approximately 2-kb human cDNA that encodes a 357-residue polypeptide. Recombinant EBP50 binds tightly to the N-ERMADs of ezrin and moesin. Peptide sequences from the brain candidate indicated that it is closely related to EBP50. EBP50 has two PSD-95/DlgA/ZO-1-like (PDZ) domains and is most likely a homologue of rabbit protein cofactor, which is involved in the protein kinase A regulation of the renal brush border Na+/H+ exchanger. EBP50 is widely distributed in tissues, and is particularly enriched in those containing polarized epithelia. Immunofluorescence microscopy of cultured cells and tissues revealed that EBP50 colocalizes with actin and ezrin in the apical microvilli of epithelial cells, and immunoelectron microscopy demonstrated that it is specifically associated with the microvilli of the placental syncytiotrophoblast. Moreover, EBP50 and ezrin can be coimmunoprecipitated as a complex from isolated human placental microvilli. These findings show that EBP50 is a physiologically relevant ezrin binding protein. Since PDZ domains are known to mediate associations with integral membrane proteins, one mode of membrane attachment of ezrin is likely to be mediated through EBP50.

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