Molecular determinants for the complex binding specificity of the PDZ domain in PICK1

Kenneth L. Madsen, Thijs Beuming, Masha Y. Niv, Chiun Wen Chang, Kumlesh K. Dev, Harel Weinstein, Ulrik Gether*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


PICK1 (protein interacting with C kinase 1) contains a single PDZ domain known to mediate interaction with the C termini of several receptors, transporters, ion channels, and kinases. In contrast to most PDZ domains, the PICK1 PDZ domain interacts with binding sequences classifiable as type I (terminating in (S/T)XΦ X, any residue) as well as type II (ΦXΦ; Φ, any hydrophobic residue). To enable direct assessment of the affinity of the PICK1 PDZ domain for its binding partners we developed a purification scheme for PICK1 and a novel quantitative binding assay based on fluorescence polarization. Our results showed that the PICK1 PDZ domain binds the type II sequence presented by the human dopamine transporter (-WLKV) with an almost 15-fold and > 100-fold higher affinity than the type I sequences presented by protein kinase Cα (-QSAV) and the β2-adrenergic receptor (-DSLL), respectively. Mutational analysis of Lys83 in the αB1 position of the PDZ domain suggested that this residue mimics the function of hydrophobic residues present in this position in regular type II PDZ domains. The PICK1 PDZ domain was moreover found to prefer small hydrophobic residues in the C-terminal P(0) position of the ligand. Molecular modeling predicted a rank order of (Val > Ile > Leu) that was verified experimentally with up to a ∼16-fold difference in binding affinity between a valine and a leucine in P(0). The results define the structural basis for the unusual binding pattern of the PICK1 PDZ domain by substantiating the critical role of the αB1 position (Lys83) and of discrete side chain differences in position P(0) of the ligands.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)20539-20548
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number21
StatePublished - 27 May 2005
Externally publishedYes


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