Structure and mutagenesis of the Dbl homology domain. Academic Article uri icon


  • Guanine nucleotide exchange factors in the Dbl family activate Rho GTPases by accelerating dissociation of bound GDP, promoting acquisition of the GTP-bound state. Dbl proteins possess a approximately 200 residue catalytic Dbl-homology (DH) domain, that is arranged in tandem with a C-terminal pleckstrin homology (PH) domain in nearly all cases. Here we report the solution structure of the DH domain of human PAK-interacting exchange protein (betaPIX). The domain is composed of 11 alpha-helices that form a flattened, elongated bundle. The structure explains a large body of mutagenesis data, which, along with sequence comparisons, identify the GTPase interaction site as a surface formed by three conserved helices near the center of one face of the domain. Proximity of the site to the DH C-terminus suggests a means by which PH-ligand interactions may be coupled to DH-GTPase interactions to regulate signaling through the Dbl proteins in vivo.

publication date

  • December 1998

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