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J Biol Chem. 2003 Oct 24;278(43):42190-9. Epub 2003 Aug 14.

PDZ Domain-mediated interaction of interleukin-16 precursor proteins with myosin phosphatase targeting subunits.

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Robert Koch-Institute, Nordufer 20, 13353 Berlin, Germany.


The cytokine interleukin-16 is generated by posttranscriptional cleavage by caspase-3 of two large precursor isoforms. The smaller protein of 67 kDa (pro-IL-16) is expressed in cells of the immune system and contains three PDZ (postsynaptic density/disc large/zona occludens-1) domains, whereas the larger 141-kDa neuronal variant (npro-IL-16) has two additional PDZ domains in its N-terminal extension that interact with neuronal ion channels. Using the yeast two-hybrid approach we have identified three closely related myosin phosphatase targeting subunits, MYPT1, MYPT2, and MBS85, as binding partners of the IL-16 precursor proteins. These interactions were verified using pull-down assays, coimmunoprecipitations, and plasmon resonance experiments. Binding requires the intact PDZ2 domain of pro-IL-16 and highly related C-terminal regions in the ligands consisting of a short leucine zipper and an indispensable serine at the -1 position, suggesting a novel unconventional PDZ binding mode. Pro-IL-16 and the myosin phosphatase targeting subunits colocalize along actomyosin filaments and stress fibers in transfected COS-7 cells. By modulating and targeting the catalytic phosphatase subunit to its substrates, MYPT1, MYPT2, and MBS85 regulate various contractile processes in muscle and non-muscle cells. Our findings indicate an involvement of the IL-16 precursor molecules in myosin-based contractile processes, most likely in cell motility, providing a functional link to the chemotactic activity of the mature cytokine. Alternatively, an intracellular complex of npro-IL-16, ion channels, and components of myosin motors in neurons suggests a role in protein targeting.

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