Role of the EHD2 unstructured loop in dimerization, protein binding and subcellular localization

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4 Scopus citations


The C-terminal Eps 15 Homology Domain proteins (EHD1-4) play important roles in regulating endocytic trafficking. EHD2 is the only family member whose crystal structure has been solved, and it contains an unstructured loop consisting of two proline-phenylalanine (PF) motifs: KPFRKLNPF. In contrast, despite EHD2 having nearly 70% amino acid identity with its paralogs, EHD1, EHD3 and EHD4, the latter proteins contain a single KPF or RPF motif, but no NPF motif. In this study, we sought to define the precise role of each PF motif in EHD2's homo-dimerization, binding with the protein partners, and subcellular localization. To test the role of the NPF motif, we generated an EHD2 NPF-to-NAF mutant to mimic the homologous sequences of EHD1 and EHD3. We demonstrated that this mutant lost both its ability to dimerize and bind to Syndapin2. However, it continued to localize primarily to the cytosolic face of the plasma membrane. On the other hand, EHD2 NPF-to-APA mutants displayed normal dimerization and Syndapin2 binding, but exhibited markedly increased nuclear localization and reduced association with the plasma membrane. We then hypothesized that the single PF motif of EHD1 (that aligns with the KPF of EHD2) might be responsible for both binding and localization functions of EHD1. Indeed, the EHD1 RPF motif was required for dimerization, interaction with MICAL-L1 and Syndapin2, as well as localization to tubular recycling endosomes. Moreover, recycling assays demonstrated that EHD1 RPF-to-APA was incapable of supporting normal receptor recycling. Overall, our data suggest that the EHD2 NPF phenylalanine residue is crucial for EHD2 localization to the plasma membrane, whereas the proline residue is essential for EHD2 dimerization and binding. These studies support the recently proposed model in which the EHD2 N-terminal region may regulate the availability of the unstructured loop for interactions with neighboring EHD2 dimers, thus promoting oligomerization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0123710
JournalPloS one
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 15 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General

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