SH3 domains are protein modules that mediate protein-protein interactions in many eukaryotic signal transduction pathways. The majority of SH3 domains studied thus far act by binding to proline-rich sequences in partner proteins, but a growing number of studies have revealed alternative recognition mechanisms. We have comprehensively surveyed the specificity landscape of human SH3 domains in an unbiased manner using peptide-phage display and deep sequencing. Based on ∼70,000 unique binding peptides, we obtained 154 specificity profiles for 115 SH3 domains, which reveal that roughly half of the SH3 domains exhibit non-canonical specificities and collectively recognize a wide variety of peptide motifs, most of which were previously unknown. Crystal structures of SH3 domains with two distinct non-canonical specificities revealed novel peptide-binding modes through an extended surface outside of the canonical proline-binding site. Our results constitute a significant contribution toward a complete understanding of the mechanisms underlying SH3-mediated cellular responses.
Keywords: ITSN1; SH3 domain; SORBS2; atypical binding; deep sequencing; domain specificity; peptide library; peptide motif; peptide-recognition module; phage display.
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