alpha2-chimaerin, a Cdc42/Rac1 regulator, is selectively expressed in the rat embryonic nervous system and is involved in neuritogenesis in N1E-115 neuroblastoma cells.
Src homology 2 (SH2) domains are found in a variety of signaling proteins and bind phosphotyrosine-containing peptide sequences. To explore the binding properties of the SH2 domain of the Src protein kinase, we used immobilized phosphopeptides to bind purified glutathione S-transferase-Src SH2 fusion proteins. With this assay, as well as a free-peptide competition assay, we have estimated the affinities of the Src SH2 domain for various phosphopeptides relative to a Src SH2-phosphopeptide interaction whose Kd has been determined previously (YEEI-P; Kd = 4 nM). Two Src-derived phosphopeptides, one containing the regulatory C-terminal Tyr-527 and another containing the autophosphorylation site Tyr-416, bind the Src SH2 domain in a specific though low-affinity manner (with about 10(4)-lower affinity than the YEEI-P peptide). A platelet-derived growth factor receptor (PDGF-R) phosphopeptide containing Tyr-857 does not bind appreciably to the Src SH2 domain, suggesting it is not the PDGF-R binding site for Src as previously reported. However, another PDGF-R-derived phosphopeptide containing Tyr-751 does bind the Src SH2 domain (with an affinity approximately 2 orders of magnitude lower than that of YEEI-P). All of the phosphopeptides which bind to the Src SH2 domain contain a glutamic acid at position -3 or -4 with respect to phosphotyrosine; changing this residue to alanine greatly diminishes binding. We have also tested Src SH2 mutants for their binding properties and have interpreted our results in light of the recent crystal structure solution for the Src SH2 domain. Mutations in various conserved and nonconserved residues (R155A, R155K, N198E, H201R, and H201L) cause slight reductions in binding, while two mutations cause severe reductions. The W148E mutant domain, which alters the invariant tryptophan that marks the N-terminal border of the SH2 domain, binds poorly to phosphopeptides. Inclusion of the SH3 domain in the fusion protein partially restores the binding by the W148E mutant. A change in the invariant arginine that coordinates twice with phosphotyrosine in the peptide (R175L) results in a nearly complete loss of binding. The R175L mutant does display high affinity for the PDGF-R peptide containing Tyr-751, via an interaction that is at least partly phosphotyrosine independent. We have used this interaction to show that the R175L mutation also disrupts the intramolecular interaction between the Src SH2 domain and the phosphorylated C terminus within the context of the entire Src protein; thus, the binding properties observed for mutant domains in an in vitro assay appear to mimic those that occur in vivo.