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Biochemistry. 1999 Apr 20;38(16):5024-33.

Thermodynamic study of the binding of the tandem-SH2 domain of the Syk kinase to a dually phosphorylated ITAM peptide: evidence for two conformers.

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Department of Biochemistry, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri 63110, USA.


The cytosolic tyrosine kinase Syk is recruited to immune cell receptors via interactions of its tandem-SH2 domain with tyrosine-phosphorylated sequences called immune receptor tyrosine activation motifs (ITAMs). We have characterized the binding of the tandem-SH2 domain of Syk (Syk-tSH2) to a dually phosphorylated peptide derived from the ITAM of the T cell receptor CD3-epsilon subunit. The CD3-epsilon peptide binds with an affinity of 18-81 nM at 150 mM NaCl over the 4.5-30 degrees C temperature range that was studied. The enthalpy of binding, DeltaH degrees obs, shows an unusual nonlinear dependence on temperature, suggesting the possibility of a temperature-dependent conformational equilibrium coupled to binding. This hypothesis was tested and confirmed by examining the temperature dependence of (1) the on-rate constant for binding and (2) the fluorescence of Syk-tSH2 and its CD3-epsilon peptide complex. The DeltaH degrees obs, Kobs, fluorescence, and kinetic data are all well described by a model incorporating the hypothesized conformational equilibrium. Circular dichroism spectra at various temperatures indicate that the conformational change is not due to a partial unfolding of the protein. We suggest that the conformational equilibrium enables Syk-tSH2 to exhibit flexibility in its binding modality, which may be necessitated by Syk's involvement in a wide variety of signal tranduction pathways.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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