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J Biol Chem. 1997 May 23;272(21):13717-24.

Raf-1 kinase and exoenzyme S interact with 14-3-3zeta through a common site involving lysine 49.

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Department of Pharmacology, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia 30322, USA.


14-3-3 proteins are a family of conserved dimeric molecules that bind to a range of cellular proteins involved in signal transduction and oncogenesis. Our solution of the crystal structure of 14-3-3zeta revealed a conserved amphipathic groove that may allow the association of 14-3-3 with diverse ligands (Liu, D., Bienkowska, J., Petosa, C., Collier, R. J., Fu, H., and Liddington, R. (1995) Nature 376, 191-194). Here, the contributions of three positively charged residues (Lys-49, Arg-56, and Arg-60) that lie in this Raf-binding groove were investigated. Two of the charge-reversal mutations greatly (K49E) or partially (R56E) decreased the interaction of 14-3-3zeta with Raf-1 kinase, whereas R60E showed only subtle effects on the binding. Interestingly, these mutations exhibited similar effects on the functional interaction of 14-3-3zeta with another target protein, exoenzyme S (ExoS), an ADP-ribosyltransferase from Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The EC50 values of 14-3-3zeta required for ExoS activation increased by approximately 110-, 5-, and 2-fold for the K49E, R56E, and R60E mutants, respectively. The drastic reduction of 14-3-3zeta/ligand affinity by the K49E mutation is due to a local electrostatic effect, rather than the result of a gross structural alteration, as evidenced by partial proteolysis and circular dichroism analysis. This work identifies the first point mutation (K49E) that dramatically disrupts 14-3-3zeta/ligand interactions. The parallel effects of this single point mutation on both Raf-1 binding and ExoS activation strongly suggest that diverse associated proteins share a common structural binding determinant on 14-3-3zeta.

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