The Bin/Amphiphysin/Rvs (BAR) domain of Sorting Nexin 9 and Similar Proteins
BAR domains are dimerization, lipid binding and curvature sensing modules found in many different proteins with diverse functions. Sorting nexins (SNXs) are Phox homology (PX) domain containing proteins that are involved in regulating membrane traffic and protein sorting in the endosomal system. SNXs differ from each other in their lipid-binding specificity, subcellular localization and specific function in the endocytic pathway. A subset of SNXs also contain BAR domains. The PX-BAR structural unit determines the specific membrane targeting of SNXs. This subfamily consists of SNX9, SNX18, SNX33, and similar proteins. SNX9 is localized to plasma membrane endocytic sites and acts primarily in clathrin-mediated endocytosis, while SNX18 is localized to peripheral endosomal structures, and acts in a trafficking pathway that is clathrin-independent but relies on AP-1 and PACS1. BAR domains form dimers that bind to membranes, induce membrane bending and curvature, and may also be involved in protein-protein interactions.