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EMBO J. 1997 Feb 3;16(3):473-83.

Tandem SH2 binding sites mediate the RasGAP-RhoGAP interaction: a conformational mechanism for SH3 domain regulation.

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  • 1Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center and Harvard Medical School, Charlestown 02129, USA.


Many cellular signaling proteins contain SH3 (Src homology 3) domains that mediate protein interactions via specific proline-containing peptides. Unlike SH2 domains, whose interactions with tyrosine-containing peptides are promoted by phosphorylation of the SH2 binding site, the regulatory mechanism for SH3 interactions is unclear. p120 RasGAP (GTPase-activating protein), which contains an SH3 domain flanked by two SH2 domains, forms an abundant SH2-mediated complex with p190 RhoGAP in cells expressing activated tyrosine kinases. We have identified two closely linked tyrosine-containing peptides in p190 that bind simultaneously to the RasGAP SH2 domains upon p190 phosphorylation. This interaction is expected to bring the two SH2 domains into close proximity. Consequently, RasGAP undergoes a conformational change that results in a 100-fold increase in the accessibility of the target binding surface of its SH3 domain. These results indicate that the tandem arrangement of SH2 and SH3 domains found in a variety of cellular signaling proteins can provide a conformational mechanism for regulating SH3-dependent interactions through tyrosine phosphorylation. In addition, it appears that the role of p190 in the RasGAP signaling complex is to promote additional protein interactions with RasGAP via its SH3 domain.

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