Background: At sites of cell adhesion, proteins exist that not only perform structural tasks but also have a signaling function. Previously, we found that the Lipoma Preferred Partner (LPP) protein is localized at sites of cell adhesion such as focal adhesions and cell-cell contacts, and shuttles to the nucleus where it has transcriptional activation capacity. LPP is a member of the zyxin family of proteins, which contains five members: ajuba, LIMD1, LPP, TRIP6 and zyxin. LPP has three LIM domains (zinc-finger protein interaction domains) at its carboxy-terminus, which are preceded by a proline-rich pre-LIM region containing a number of protein interaction domains.
Results: To catch the role of LPP at sites of cell adhesion, we made an effort to identify binding partners of LPP. We found the tumor suppressor protein Scrib, which is a component of cell-cell contacts, as interaction partner of LPP. Human Scrib, which is a functional homologue of Drosophila scribble, is a member of the leucine-rich repeat and PDZ (LAP) family of proteins that is involved in the regulation of cell adhesion, cell shape and polarity. In addition, Scrib displays tumor suppressor activity. The binding between Scrib and LPP is mediated by the PDZ domains of Scrib and the carboxy-terminus of LPP. Both proteins localize in cell-cell contacts. Whereas LPP is also localized in focal adhesions and in the nucleus, Scrib could not be detected at these locations in MDCKII and CV-1 cells. Furthermore, our investigations indicate that Scrib is dispensable for targeting LPP to focal adhesions and to cell-cell contacts, and that LPP is not necessary for localizing Scrib in cell-cell contacts. We show that all four PDZ domains of Scrib are dispensable for localizing this protein in cell-cell contacts.
Conclusions: Here, we identified an interaction between one of zyxin's family members, LPP, and the tumor suppressor protein Scrib. Both proteins localize in cell-cell contacts. This interaction links Scrib to a communication pathway between cell-cell contacts and the nucleus, and implicates LPP in Scrib-associated functions.