Mechanism of IRSp53 inhibition by 14-3-3

Nat Commun. 2019 Jan 29;10(1):483. doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-08317-8.


Filopodia are precursors of dendritic spines and polarized cell migration. The I-BAR-domain protein IRSp53 is a key regulator of filopodia dynamics that couples Rho-GTPase signaling to cytoskeleton and membrane remodeling, playing essential roles in neuronal development and cell motility. Here, we describe the structural-functional basis for 14-3-3-dependent inhibition of IRSp53. Phosphoproteomics, quantitative binding and crystallographic studies demonstrate that 14-3-3 binds to two pairs of phosphorylation sites in IRSp53. Using bicistronic expression, we obtain an IRSp53 heterodimer in which only one subunit is phosphorylated, and show that each subunit of IRSp53 independently binds one 14-3-3 dimer. A FRET-sensor assay using natively phosphorylated IRSp53 reveals opposite conformational changes upon binding of activatory (Cdc42, Eps8) or inhibitory (14-3-3) inputs. Finally, we show that 14-3-3 inhibits IRSp53 binding to membranes. Collectively, our findings support a mechanism whereby phosphorylation-dependent inhibition of IRSp53 by 14-3-3 counters membrane binding and interactions with Cdc42 and downstream cytoskeletal effectors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 14-3-3 Proteins / chemistry
  • 14-3-3 Proteins / genetics
  • 14-3-3 Proteins / metabolism*
  • Binding Sites
  • Dendritic Spines / genetics
  • Dendritic Spines / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / chemistry
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / genetics
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / metabolism*
  • Phosphorylation
  • Protein Binding
  • Pseudopodia / genetics
  • Pseudopodia / metabolism


  • 14-3-3 Proteins
  • BAIAP2 protein, human
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins