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J Biol Chem. 2011 Nov 4;286(44):38670-8. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M111.274472. Epub 2011 Sep 6.

The general definition of the p97/valosin-containing protein (VCP)-interacting motif (VIM) delineates a new family of p97 cofactors.

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Department of Biochemistry, Biocenter, University of Würzburg, Am Hubland, 97074 Würzburg, Germany.


Cellular functions of the essential, ubiquitin-selective AAA ATPase p97/valosin-containing protein (VCP) are controlled by regulatory cofactors determining substrate specificity and fate. Most cofactors bind p97 through a ubiquitin regulatory X (UBX) or UBX-like domain or linear sequence motifs, including the hitherto ill defined p97/VCP-interacting motif (VIM). Here, we present the new, minimal consensus sequence RX(5)AAX(2)R as a general definition of the VIM that unites a novel family of known and putative p97 cofactors, among them UBXD1 and ZNF744/ANKZF1. We demonstrate that this minimal VIM consensus sequence is necessary and sufficient for p97 binding. Using NMR chemical shift mapping, we identified several residues of the p97 N-terminal domain (N domain) that are critical for VIM binding. Importantly, we show that cellular stress resistance conferred by the yeast VIM-containing cofactor Vms1 depends on the physical interaction between its VIM and the critical N domain residues of the yeast p97 homolog, Cdc48. Thus, the VIM-N domain interaction characterized in this study is required for the physiological function of Vms1 and most likely other members of the newly defined VIM family of cofactors.

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