PDZ domains - common players in the cell signaling

Acta Biochim Pol. 2003;50(4):985-1017.


PDZ domains are ubiquitous protein interaction modules that play a key role in cellular signaling. Their binding specificity involves recognition of the carboxyl-terminus of various proteins, often belonging to receptor and ion channel families. PDZ domains also mediate more complicated molecular networks through PDZ-PDZ interactions, recognition of internal protein sequences or phosphatidylinositol moieties. The domains often form a tandem of multiple copies, but equally often such tandems or single PDZ domain occur in combination with other signaling domains (for example SH3, DH/PH, GUK, LIM, CaMK). Common occurrence of PDZ domains in Metazoans strongly suggests that their evolutionary appearance results from the complication of signaling mechanisms in multicellular organisms. Here, we focus on their structure, specificity and role in signaling pathways.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carrier Proteins / classification
  • Carrier Proteins / physiology*
  • Guanylate Kinases
  • Humans
  • Ligands
  • Nucleoside-Phosphate Kinase / physiology
  • Phosphorylation
  • Polypyrimidine Tract-Binding Protein / physiology
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary / genetics
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary / physiology*
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*


  • Carrier Proteins
  • Ligands
  • Polypyrimidine Tract-Binding Protein
  • Nucleoside-Phosphate Kinase
  • Guanylate Kinases