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Deciphering the molecular and functional basis of Dbl family proteins: a novel systematic approach toward classification of selective activation of the Rho family proteins.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of Biological Chemistry
1083-351X
Publisher
American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Publication Date
Volume
288
Issue
6
Pages
4486–4500
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M112.429746
PMID: 23255595
Source
Medline

Abstract

The diffuse B-cell lymphoma (Dbl) family of the guanine nucleotide exchange factors is a direct activator of the Rho family proteins. The Rho family proteins are involved in almost every cellular process that ranges from fundamental (e.g. the establishment of cell polarity) to highly specialized processes (e.g. the contraction of vascular smooth muscle cells). Abnormal activation of the Rho proteins is known to play a crucial role in cancer, infectious and cognitive disorders, and cardiovascular diseases. However, the existence of 74 Dbl proteins and 25 Rho-related proteins in humans, which are largely uncharacterized, has led to increasing complexity in identifying specific upstream pathways. Thus, we comprehensively investigated sequence-structure-function-property relationships of 21 representatives of the Dbl protein family regarding their specificities and activities toward 12 Rho family proteins. The meta-analysis approach provides an unprecedented opportunity to broadly profile functional properties of Dbl family proteins, including catalytic efficiency, substrate selectivity, and signaling specificity. Our analysis has provided novel insights into the following: (i) understanding of the relative differences of various Rho protein members in nucleotide exchange; (ii) comparing and defining individual and overall guanine nucleotide exchange factor activities of a large representative set of the Dbl proteins toward 12 Rho proteins; (iii) grouping the Dbl family into functionally distinct categories based on both their catalytic efficiencies and their sequence-structural relationships; (iv) identifying conserved amino acids as fingerprints of the Dbl and Rho protein interaction; and (v) defining amino acid sequences conserved within, but not between, Dbl subfamilies. Therefore, the characteristics of such specificity-determining residues identified the regions or clusters conserved within the Dbl subfamilies.

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