Structure and dynamics of the human pleckstrin DEP domain: distinct molecular features of a novel DEP domain subfamily

Proteins. 2005 Feb 1;58(2):354-66. doi: 10.1002/prot.20320.


Pleckstrin1 is a major substrate for protein kinase C in platelets and leukocytes, and comprises a central DEP (disheveled, Egl-10, pleckstrin) domain, which is flanked by two PH (pleckstrin homology) domains. DEP domains display a unique alpha/beta fold and have been implicated in membrane binding utilizing different mechanisms. Using multiple sequence alignments and phylogenetic tree reconstructions, we find that 6 subfamilies of the DEP domain exist, of which pleckstrin represents a novel and distinct subfamily. To clarify structural determinants of the DEP fold and to gain further insight into the role of the DEP domain, we determined the three-dimensional structure of the pleckstrin DEP domain using heteronuclear NMR spectroscopy. Pleckstrin DEP shares main structural features with the DEP domains of disheveled and Epac, which belong to different DEP subfamilies. However, the pleckstrin DEP fold is distinct from these structures and contains an additional, short helix alpha4 inserted in the beta4-beta5 loop that exhibits increased backbone mobility as judged by NMR relaxation measurements. Based on sequence conservation, the helix alpha4 may also be present in the DEP domains of regulator of G-protein signaling (RGS) proteins, which are members of the same DEP subfamily. In pleckstrin, the DEP domain is surrounded by two PH domains. Structural analysis and charge complementarity suggest that the DEP domain may interact with the N-terminal PH domain in pleckstrin. Phosphorylation of the PH-DEP linker, which is required for pleckstrin function, could regulate such an intramolecular interaction. This suggests a role of the pleckstrin DEP domain in intramolecular domain interactions, which is distinct from the functions of other DEP domain subfamilies found so far.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Blood Proteins / chemistry*
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen Bonding
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Models, Chemical
  • Models, Molecular
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Multigene Family
  • Phosphoproteins / chemistry*
  • Phosphorylation
  • Phylogeny
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Structure, Secondary
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Recombinant Proteins / chemistry
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid


  • Blood Proteins
  • Phosphoproteins
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • platelet protein P47