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J Cell Biol. 1998 Jul 13;142(1):129-38.

Human CASK/LIN-2 binds syndecan-2 and protein 4.1 and localizes to the basolateral membrane of epithelial cells.

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  • 1Department of Cell Biology, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut 06520, USA.

Erratum in

  • J Cell Biol 1998 Aug 24;142(4):following 1156. Wood DF [corrected to Woods DF].


In Caenorhabditis elegans, mutations in the lin-2 gene inactivate the LET-23 receptor tyrosine kinase/Ras/MAP kinase pathway required for vulval cell differentiation. One function of LIN-2 is to localize LET-23 to the basal membrane domain of vulval precursor cells. LIN-2 belongs to the membrane-associated guanylate kinase family of proteins. We have cloned and characterized the human homolog of LIN-2, termed hCASK, and Northern and Western blot analyses reveal that it is ubiquitously expressed. Indirect immunofluorescence localizes CASK to distinct lateral and/or basal plasma membrane domains in different epithelial cell types. We detect in a yeast two-hybrid screen that the PDZ domain of hCASK binds to the heparan sulfate proteoglycan syndecan-2. This interaction is confirmed using in vitro binding assays and immunofluorescent colocalization. Furthermore, we demonstrate that hCASK binds the actin-binding protein 4.1. Syndecans are known to bind extracellular matrix, and to form coreceptor complexes with receptor tyrosine kinases. We speculate that CASK mediates a link between the extracellular matrix and the actin cytoskeleton via its interaction with syndecan and with protein 4.1. Like other membrane-associated guanylate kinases, its multidomain structure enables it to act as a scaffold at the membrane, potentially recruiting multiple proteins and coordinating signal transduction.

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