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Mol Cell. 2007 Jan 26;25(2):273-84.

Ubiquitin binds to and regulates a subset of SH3 domains.

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Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Cell Biology, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208, USA.


SH3 domains are modules of 50-70 amino acids that promote interactions among proteins, often participating in the assembly of large dynamic complexes. These domains bind to peptide ligands, which usually contain a core Pro-X-X-Pro (PXXP) sequence. Here we identify a class of SH3 domains that bind to ubiquitin. The yeast endocytic protein Sla1, as well as the mammalian proteins CIN85 and amphiphysin, carry ubiquitin-binding SH3 domains. Ubiquitin and peptide ligands bind to the same hydrophobic groove on the SH3 domain surface, and ubiquitin and a PXXP-containing protein fragment compete for binding to SH3 domains. We conclude that a subset of SH3 domains constitutes a distinct type of ubiquitin-binding domain and that ubiquitin binding can negatively regulate interaction of SH3 domains with canonical proline-rich ligands.

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