Binding of the cSH3 domain of Grb2 adaptor to two distinct RXXK motifs within Gab1 docker employs differential mechanisms.
ABSTRACT: A ubiquitous component of cellular signaling machinery, Gab1 docker plays a pivotal role in routing extracellular information in the form of growth factors and cytokines to downstream targets such as transcription factors within the nucleus. Here, using isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC) in combination with macromolecular modeling (MM), we show that although Gab1 contains four distinct RXXK motifs, designated G1, G2, G3, and G4, only G1 and G2 motifs bind to the cSH3 domain of Grb2 adaptor and do so with distinct mechanisms. Thus, while the G1 motif strictly requires the PPRPPKP consensus sequence for high-affinity binding to the cSH3 domain, the G2 motif displays preference for the PXVXRXLKPXR consensus. Such sequential differences in the binding of G1 and G2 motifs arise from their ability to adopt distinct polyproline type II (PPII)- and 3(10) -helical conformations upon binding to the cSH3 domain, respectively. Collectively, our study provides detailed biophysical insights into a key protein-protein interaction involved in a diverse array of signaling cascades central to health and disease.
Project description:Although the growth factor receptor binder 2 (Grb2)-Grb2-associated binder (Gab)1 macromolecular complex mediates a multitude of cellular signaling cascades, the molecular basis of its assembly has hitherto remained largely elusive. Herein, using an array of biophysical techniques, we show that, whereas Grb2 exists in a monomer-dimer equilibrium, the proline-rich (PR) domain of Gab1 is a monomer in solution. Of particular interest is the observation that although the PR domain appears to be structurally disordered, it nonetheless adopts a more or less compact conformation reminiscent of natively folded globular proteins. Importantly, the structurally flexible conformation of the PR domain appears to facilitate the binding of Gab1 to Grb2 with a 1:2 stoichiometry. More specifically, the formation of the Grb2-Gab1 signaling complex is driven via a bivalent interaction through the binding of the C-terminal homology 3 (cSH3) domain within each monomer of Grb2 homodimer to two distinct RXXK motifs, herein designated G1 and G2, located within the PR domain of Gab1. Strikingly, in spite of the key role of bivalency in driving this macromolecular assembly, the cSH3 domains bind to the G1 and G2 motifs in an independent manner with zero cooperativity. Taken together, our findings shed new light on the physicochemical forces driving the assembly of a key macromolecular signaling complex that is relevant to cellular health and disease.
Project description:Allostery has evolved as a form of local communication between interacting protein partners allowing them to quickly sense changes in their immediate vicinity in response to external cues. Herein, using isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC) in conjunction with circular dichroism (CD) and macromolecular modeling (MM), we show that the binding of Grb2 adaptor--a key signaling molecule involved in the activation of Ras GTPase--to its downstream partners Sos1 guanine nucleotide exchange factor and Gab1 docker is under tight allosteric regulation. Specifically, our findings reveal that the binding of one molecule of Sos1 to the nSH3 domain allosterically induces a conformational change within Grb2 such that the loading of a second molecule of Sos1 onto the cSH3 domain is blocked and, in so doing, allows Gab1 access to the cSH3 domain in an exclusively non-competitive manner to generate the Sos1-Grb2-Gab1 ternary signaling complex.
Project description:Allostery plays a key role in dictating the stoichiometry and thermodynamics of multi-protein complexes driving a plethora of cellular processes central to health and disease. Herein, using various biophysical tools, we demonstrate that although Sos1 nucleotide exchange factor and Gab1 docking protein recognize two non-overlapping sites within the Grb2 adaptor, allostery promotes the formation of two distinct pools of Grb2-Sos1 and Grb2-Gab1 binary signaling complexes in concert in lieu of a composite Sos1-Grb2-Gab1 ternary complex. Of particular interest is the observation that the binding of Sos1 to the nSH3 domain within Grb2 sterically blocks the binding of Gab1 to the cSH3 domain and vice versa in a mutually exclusive manner. Importantly, the formation of both the Grb2-Sos1 and Grb2-Gab1 binary complexes is governed by a stoichiometry of 2:1, whereby the respective SH3 domains within Grb2 homodimer bind to Sos1 and Gab1 via multivalent interactions. Collectively, our study sheds new light on the role of allostery in mediating cellular signaling machinery.
Project description:Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), the ligand for the Met receptor tyrosine kinase, induces epithelial cell dispersal, invasion, and morphogenesis, events that require remodeling of the actin cytoskeleton. The scaffold protein Gab1 is essential for these biological responses downstream from Met. We have identified p21-activated kinase 4 (Pak4) as a novel Gab1-interacting protein. We show that in response to HGF, Gab1 and Pak4 associate and colocalize at the cell periphery within lamellipodia. The association between Pak4 and Gab1 is dependent on Gab1 phosphorylation but independent of Pak4 kinase activity. The interaction is mediated through a region in Gab1, which displays no homology to known Gab1 interaction motifs and through the guanine exchange factor-interacting domain of Pak4. In response to HGF, Gab1 and Pak4 synergize to enhance epithelial cell dispersal, migration, and invasion, whereas knockdown of Pak4 attenuates these responses. A Gab1 mutant unable to recruit Pak4 fails to promote epithelial cell dispersal and an invasive morphogenic program in response to HGF, demonstrating a physiological requirement for Gab1-Pak4 association. These data demonstrate a novel association between Gab1 and Pak4 and identify Pak4 as a key integrator of cell migration and invasive growth downstream from the Met receptor.
Project description:Invasive carcinoma cells form actin-rich matrix-degrading protrusions called invadopodia. These structures resemble podosomes produced by some normal cells and play a crucial role in extracellular matrix remodeling. In cancer, formation of invadopodia is strongly associated with invasive potential. Although deregulated signals from the receptor tyrosine kinase Met (also known as hepatocyte growth factor are linked to cancer metastasis and poor prognosis, its role in invadopodia formation is not known. Here we show that stimulation of breast cancer cells with the ligand for Met, hepatocyte growth factor, promotes invadopodia formation, and in aggressive gastric tumor cells where Met is amplified, invadopodia formation is dependent on Met activity. Using both GRB2-associated-binding protein 1 (Gab1)-null fibroblasts and specific knockdown of Gab1 in tumor cells we show that Met-mediated invadopodia formation and cell invasion requires the scaffold protein Gab1. By a structure-function approach, we demonstrate that two proline-rich motifs (P4/5) within Gab1 are essential for invadopodia formation. We identify the actin regulatory protein, cortactin, as a direct interaction partner for Gab1 and show that a Gab1-cortactin interaction is dependent on the SH3 domain of cortactin and the integrity of the P4/5 region of Gab1. Both cortactin and Gab1 localize to invadopodia rosettes in Met-transformed cells and the specific uncoupling of cortactin from Gab1 abrogates invadopodia biogenesis and cell invasion downstream from the Met receptor tyrosine kinase. Met localizes to invadopodia along with cortactin and promotes phosphorylation of cortactin. These findings provide insights into the molecular mechanisms of invadopodia formation and identify Gab1 as a scaffold protein involved in this process.
Project description:The adaptor protein Grb2 links cell-surface receptors, such as Her2, to the multisite docking proteins Gab1 and 2, leading to cell growth and proliferation in breast and other cancers. Gab2 interacts with the C-terminal SH3 domain (SH3C) of Grb2 through atypical RxxK motifs within polyproline II or 310 helices. A virtual screen was conducted for putative binders of the Grb2 SH3C domain. Of the top hits, 34 were validated experimentally by surface plasmon resonance spectroscopy and isothermal titration calorimetry. A subset of these molecules was found to inhibit the Grb2-Gab2 interaction in a competition assay, with moderate to low affinities (5: IC50 320?M). The most promising binders were based on a dihydro-s-triazine scaffold, and are the first small molecules reported to target the Grb2 SH3C protein-interaction surface.
Project description:Gab1 is a multiadaptor protein that has been shown to be required for multiple processes in embryonic development and oncogenic transformation. Gab1 functions by amplifying signal transduction downstream of various receptor tyrosine kinases through recruitment of multiple signaling effectors, including phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase and Shp2. Until now, the functional significance of individual interactions in vivo was not known. Here we have generated knockin mice that carry point mutations in either the P13K or Shp2 binding sites of Gab1. We show that different effector interactions with Gab1 play distinct biological roles downstream of Gab1 during the development of different organs. Recruitment of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase by Gab1 is essential for EGF receptor-mediated embryonic eyelid closure and keratinocyte migration, and the Gab1-Shp2 interaction is crucial for Met receptor-directed placental development and muscle progenitor cell migration to the limbs. Furthermore, we investigate the dual association of Gab1 with the Met receptor. By analyzing knockin mice with mutations in the Grb2 or Met binding site of Gab1, we show that the requirements for Gab1 recruitment to Met varies in different biological contexts. Either the direct or the indirect interaction of Gab1 with Met is sufficient for Met-dependent muscle precursor cell migration, whereas both modes of interaction are required and neither is sufficient for placenta development, liver growth, and palatal shelf closure. These data demonstrate that Gab1 induces different biological responses through the recruitment of distinct effectors and that different modes of recruitment for Gab1 are required in different organs.
Project description:Cell polarity plays a key role in development and is disrupted in tumors, yet the molecules and mechanisms that regulate polarity remain poorly defined. We found that the scaffolding adaptor GAB1 interacts with two polarity proteins, PAR1 and PAR3. GAB1 binds PAR1 and enhances its kinase activity. GAB1 brings PAR1 and PAR3 into a transient complex, stimulating PAR3 phosphorylation by PAR1. GAB1 and PAR6 bind the PAR3 PDZ1 domain and thereby compete for PAR3 binding. Consequently, GAB1 depletion causes PAR3 hypophosphorylation and increases PAR3/PAR6 complex formation, resulting in accelerated and enhanced tight junction formation, increased transepithelial resistance, and lateral domain shortening. Conversely, GAB1 overexpression, in a PAR1/PAR3-dependent manner, disrupts epithelial apical-basal polarity, promotes multilumen cyst formation, and enhances growth factor-induced epithelial cell scattering. Our results identify GAB1 as a negative regulator of epithelial cell polarity that functions as a scaffold for modulating PAR protein complexes on the lateral membrane.
Project description:The Grb2-associated binding protein 1 (GAB1) integrates signals from different signaling pathways and is over-expressed in many cancers, therefore representing a new therapeutic target. In the present study, we aim to target the pleckstrin homology (PH) domain of GAB1 for cancer treatment. Using homology models we derived, high-throughput virtual screening of five million compounds resulted in five hits which exhibited strong binding affinities to GAB1 PH domain. Our prediction of ligand binding affinities is also in agreement with the experimental KD values. Furthermore, molecular dynamics studies showed that GAB1 PH domain underwent large conformational changes upon ligand binding. Moreover, these hits inhibited the phosphorylation of GAB1 and demonstrated potent, tumor-specific cytotoxicity against MDA-MB-231 and T47D breast cancer cell lines. This effort represents the discovery of first-in-class GAB1 PH domain inhibitors with potential for targeted breast cancer therapy and provides novel insights into structure-based approaches to targeting this protein.
Project description:An in vitro transformation system of carcinogen-treated Syrian hamster embryo (SHE) cell cultures represents multistep genetic and nongenetic changes that develop during the neoplastic progression of normal cells to tumor cells in vivo. During this neoplastic progression, SHE cells demonstrate an altered response to epidermal growth factor (EGF). In the present report, we examined the role of the adapter protein Gab1 (Grb2-associated binder-1) in the neoplastic progression of SHE cells. We used two asbestos-transformed SHE cell clones in different neoplastic stages: a 10W+8 clone, which is immortal and retains the ability to suppress the tumorigenicity of tumor cells in cell-cell hybrid experiments, and a 10W-1 clone, which has lost this tumor suppressor ability. 10W+8 cells expressed full-length 100-kDa Gab1 and associated 5.2-kb mRNA. Upon repeated cell passaging, 10W-1 cells showed increasing expression of a novel 87-kDa form of Gab1 as well as 4.6-kb mRNA with diminishing expression of the original 100-kDa Gab1. cDNA encoding the 87-kDa Gab1 predicts a form of Gab1 lacking the amino-terminal 103 amino acids (Gab1(Delta1-103)), which corresponds to loss of most of the pleckstrin homology (PH) domain. Gab1(Delta1-103) retains the ability to be phosphorylated in an EGF-dependent manner and to associate with the EGF receptor and SHP-2 upon EGF stimulation. The endogenous expression of Gab1(Delta1-103) in 10W-1 cells appeared closely related to EGF-dependent colony formation in soft agar. Moreover, transfection and expression of Gab1(Delta1-103), but not Gab1, in 10W+8 cells enhanced their EGF-dependent colony formation in soft agar. These results demonstrate that Gab1 is a target of carcinogen-induced transformation of SHE cells and that the expression of a Gab1 variant lacking most of the PH domain plays a specific role in the neoplastic progression of SHE cells.