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Curr Biol. 2002 Sep 17;12(18):1617-22.

The WH1 and EVH1 domains of WASP and Ena/VASP family members bind distinct sequence motifs.

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Cell Motility Laboratory, Cancer Research UK, Lincoln's Inn Fields Laboratories, London, United Kingdom.


A complex of N-WASP and WASP-interacting protein (WIP) plays an important role in actin-based motility of vaccinia virus and the formation of filopodia. WIP is also required to maintain the integrity of the actin cytoskeleton in T and B lymphocytes and is essential for T cell activation. However, in contrast to many other N-WASP binding proteins, WIP does not stimulate the ability of N-WASP to activate the Arp2/3 complex. Although the WASP homology 1 (WH1) domain of N-WASP interacts directly with WIP, we still lack the exact nature of its binding site. We have now identified and characterized the N-WASP WH1 binding motif in WIP in vitro and in vivo using Shigella and vaccinia systems. The WH1 domain, which is predicted to have a similar structural fold to the Ena/VASP homology 1 (EVH1) domain, binds to a sequence motif in WIP (ESRFYFHPISD) that is very different from the EVH1 proline-rich DL/FPPPP ligand. Interaction of the WH1 domain of N-WASP with WIP is dependent on the two highly conserved phenylalanine residues in the motif. The WH1 binding motif we have identified is conserved in WIP, CR16, WICH, and yeast verprolin.

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