The Habc domain of syntaxin 3 is a ubiquitin binding domain.

TitleThe Habc domain of syntaxin 3 is a ubiquitin binding domain.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsGiovannone, AJ, Reales, E, Bhattaram, P, Nackeeran, S, Monahan, AB, Syed, R, Weimbs, T
JournalSci Rep
Date Published2020 Dec 07

Syntaxins are a family of membrane-anchored SNARE proteins that are essential components required for membrane fusion in eukaryotic intracellular membrane trafficking pathways. Syntaxins contain an N-terminal regulatory domain, termed the H domain that is not highly conserved at the primary sequence level but folds into a three-helix bundle that is structurally conserved among family members. The syntaxin H domain has previously been found to be structurally very similar to the GAT domain present in GGA family members and related proteins that are otherwise completely unrelated to syntaxins. Because the GAT domain has been found to be a ubiquitin binding domain we hypothesized that the H domain of syntaxins may also bind to ubiquitin. Here, we report that the H domain of syntaxin 3 (Stx3) indeed binds to monomeric ubiquitin with low affinity. This domain binds efficiently to K63-linked poly-ubiquitin chains within a narrow range of chain lengths but not to K48-linked poly-ubiquitin chains. Other syntaxin family members also bind to K63-linked poly-ubiquitin chains but with different chain length specificities. Molecular modeling suggests that residues of the GGA3-GAT domain known to be important for ionic and hydrophobic interactions with ubiquitin may have equivalent, conserved residues within the H domain of Stx3. We conclude that the syntaxin H domain and the GAT domain are both structurally and functionally related, and likely share a common ancestry despite sequence divergence. Binding of Ubiquitin to the H domain may regulate the function of syntaxins in membrane fusion or may suggest additional functions of this protein family.

Alternate JournalSci Rep
PubMed ID33288783
Grant ListDK095248 / / National Intitutes of Health /
GM66785 / / National Intitutes of Health /