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J Biol Chem. 2011 Aug 26;286(34):29973-83. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M111.270785. Epub 2011 Jun 28.

The tumor suppressor hamartin enhances Dbl protein transforming activity through interaction with ezrin.

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Laboratorio di Biologia Molecolare, Istituto G. Gaslini, Genova, Italy.


The Rho guanine nucleotide exchange factor (GEF) Dbl binds to the N-terminal region of ezrin, a member of the ERM (ezrin, radixin, moesin) proteins known to function as linkers between the plasma membrane and the actin cytoskeleton. Here we have characterized the interaction between ezrin and Dbl. We show that binding of Dbl with ezrin involves positively charged amino acids within the region of the pleckstrin homology (PH) domain comprised between β1 and β2 sheets. In addition, we show that Dbl forms a complex with the tuberous sclerosis-1 (TSC-1) gene product hamartin and with ezrin. We demonstrate that hamartin and ezrin are both required for activation of Dbl. In fact, the knock-down of ezrin and hamartin, as well as the expression of a mutant hamartin, unable to bind ezrin, inhibit Dbl transforming and exchange activity. These results suggest that Dbl is regulated by hamartin through association with ezrin.

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