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Biochemistry. 2015 Mar 3;54(8):1673-80. doi: 10.1021/bi501420n. Epub 2015 Feb 17.

How the ankyrin and SOCS box protein, ASB9, binds to creatine kinase.

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Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of California, San Diego , 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, California 92093-0378, United States.


The ankyrin repeat and SOCS box (ASB) family is composed of 18 proteins and belongs to the suppressor of cytokine signaling (SOCS) box protein superfamily. The ASB proteins function as the substrate-recognition subunits of ECS-type (ElonginBC-Cullin-SOCS-box) Cullin RING E3 ubiquitin ligase (CRL) complexes that specifically transfer ubiquitin to cellular proteins targeting them for degradation by the proteasome. ASB9 binds to creatine kinase (CK) and targets it for degradation; however, the way in which ASB9 interacts with CK is not yet known. We present a complete characterization of the binding of ASB9 to CK. One ASB9 molecule binds to a dimer of CK. The binding affinity of ASB9(1-252) was extremely tight, and no dissociation could be observed. Deletion of the 34 N-terminal amino acids forming ASB9(35-252) resulted in weakening of the binding, so that a binding affinity of 2.6 nM could be measured. Amide hydrogen-deuterium exchange (HDXMS) experiments showed that both ASB9(1-252) and ASB9(35-252) protected the same region of CK, residues 182-203, which forms one side of the active site. The HDXMS experiments indicated that the N-terminal disordered region and first ankyrin repeat of ASB9 are protected from exchange in the complex. Molecular docking yielded a structural model consistent with all of the data that suggested the N-terminal residues of ASB9(1-252) may lie in one CK active site. This model was corroborated by enzymatic activity assays and mutational analysis.

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