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Biochemistry. 1999 Apr 20;38(16):5216-21.

Interaction of 14-3-3 with a nonphosphorylated protein ligand, exoenzyme S of Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

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Graduate Program in Molecular Therapeutics and Toxicology, Department of Pharmacology, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia 30322, USA.


The 14-3-3 proteins are a family of conserved, dimeric proteins that interact with a diverse set of ligands, including molecules involved in cell cycle regulation and apoptosis. It is well-established that 14-3-3 binds to many ligands through phosphoserine motifs. Here we characterize the interaction of 14-3-3 with a nonphosphorylated protein ligand, the ADP-ribosyltransferase Exoenzyme S (ExoS) from Pseudomonas aeruginosa. By using affinity chromatography and surface plasmon resonance, we show that the zeta isoform of 14-3-3 (14-3-3zeta) can directly bind a catalytically active fragment of ExoS in vitro. The interaction between ExoS and 14-3-3zeta is of high affinity, with an equilibrium dissociation constant of 7 nM. ExoS lacks any known 14-3-3 binding motif, but to address the possibility that 14-3-3 binds a noncanonical phosphoserine site, we assayed ExoS for protein-bound phosphate by using mass spectrometry. No detectable phosphoproteins were found. A phosphopeptide ligand of 14-3-3, pS-Raf-259, was capable of inhibiting the binding of 14-3-3 to ExoS, suggesting that phosphorylated and nonphosphorylated ligands may share a common binding site, the conserved amphipathic groove. It is conceivable that 14-3-3 proteins may bind both phosphoserine and nonphosphoserine ligands in cells, possibly allowing kinase-dependent as well as kinase-independent regulation of 14-3-3 binding.

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