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FEBS Lett. 2012 Aug 14;586(17):2609-14. doi: 10.1016/j.febslet.2012.04.042. Epub 2012 May 2.

SH3 domain ligand binding: What's the consensus and where's the specificity?

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Department of Virology, Haartman Institute, University of Helsinki and HUSLAB, University of Helsinki Central Hospital, FI-00014 Helsinki, Finland.


An increasing number of SH3 domain-ligand interactions continue to be described that involve the conserved peptide-binding surface of SH3, but structurally deviate substantially from canonical docking of consensus motif-containing SH3 ligands. Indeed, it appears that that the relative frequency and importance of these types of interactions may have been underestimated. Instead of atypical, we propose referring to such peptides as type I or II (depending on the binding orientation) non-consensus ligands. Here we discuss the structural basis of non-consensus SH3 ligand binding and the dominant role of the SH3 domain specificity zone in selective target recognition, and review some of the best-characterized examples of such interactions.

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