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FEBS J. 2006 Oct;273(19):4504-15. Epub 2006 Sep 5.

Binding of human centrin 2 to the centrosomal protein hSfi1.

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The Integrative Imaging Unit, INSERM U759/Institut Curie-Recherche, Centre Universitaire Paris-Sud, Orsay Cedex, France.


hSfi1, a human centrosomal protein with homologs in other eukaryotic organisms, includes 23 repeats, each of 23 amino acids, separated by 10 residue linkers. The main molecular partner in the centrosome is a small, calcium-binding EF-hand protein, the human centrin 2. Using isothermal titration calorimetry experiments, we characterized the centrin-binding capacity of three isolated hSfi1 repeats, two exhibiting the general consensus motif and the third being the unique Pro-containing human repeat. The two standard peptides bind human centrin 2 and its isolated C-terminal domain with high affinity (approximately 10(7) M(-1)) by an enthalpy-driven mechanism, with a moderate Ca2+ dependence. The Pro-containing repeat shows a binding affinity that is two orders of magnitude lower. The target binding site is localized within the C-terminal domain of human centrin 2. Fluorescence titration and NMR spectroscopy show that the well-conserved Trp residue situated in the C-terminus of each repeat is deeply embedded in a protein hydrophobic cavity, indicating that the peptide direction is reversed relative to previously studied centrin targets. The present results suggest that almost all of the repeats of the Sfi1 protein may independently bind centrin molecules. On the basis of this hypothesis and previous studies on centrin self-assembly, we propose a working model for the role of centrin-Sfi1 interactions in the dynamic structure of centrosome-associated contractile fibers.

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