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Clin Immunol. 1999 Aug;92(2):128-37.

The pleckstrin homology domain of the Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein is involved in the organization of actin cytoskeleton.

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School of Medicine, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Tokyo, 113-8519, Japan.


In this study, we investigated the role of the pleckstrin homology (PH) domain of the Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein (WASP) in the regulation of actin cytoskeleton, which is defective in patients with Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome (WAS) and X-linked thrombocytopenia (XLT). Overexpression of the WASP in COS-7 cells cultured in the presence of fetal calf serum (FCS) resulted in large cluster formation of polymerized actin and WASP in the cytoplasm. In contrast, when the WASP transfected cells were cultured in the absence of FCS, activation with PMA or EGF was required to induce cluster formation. Overexpression of WASP with a missense mutation in the N-terminus of the PH domain failed to induce the large cluster formation in COS-7 cells even in the presence of FCS. We also found that phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PIP(2)), which is known to regulate the actin cytoskeleton, binds to the PH domain of WASP, and the binding was abolished by the introduction of a missense mutation into the N-terminus but not the C-terminus of the PH domain. Together with the observations that most of the missense mutations observed in patients with WAS and XLT are located within the PH domain, these results indicate that the PH domain of WASP plays important roles in the regulation of actin cytoskeleton and suggested that the binding of PIP(2) to the PH domain is necessary for WASP to function properly.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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