Cdc42-interacting protein 4 mediates binding of the Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein to microtubules.
The Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome is an inherited X-linked immunodeficiency characterized by thrombocytopenia, eczema, and a tendency toward lymphoid malignancy. Lymphocytes from affected individuals have cytoskeletal abnormalities, and monocytes show impaired motility. The Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein (WASP) is a multi-domain protein involved in cytoskeletal organization. In a two-hybrid screen, we identified the protein Cdc42-interacting protein 4 (CIP4) as a WASP interactor. CIP4, like WASP, is a Cdc42 effector protein involved in cytoskeletal organization. We found that the WASP-CIP4 interaction is mediated by the binding of the Src homology 3 domain of CIP4 to the proline-rich segment of WASP. Cdc42 was not required for this interaction. Co-expression of CIP4 and green fluorescent protein-WASP in COS-7 cells led to the association of WASP with microtubules. In vitro experiments showed that CIP4 binds to microtubules via its NH(2) terminus. The region of CIP4 responsible for binding to active Cdc42 was localized to amino acids 383-417, and the mutation I398S abrogated binding. Deletion of the Cdc42-binding domain of CIP4 did not affect the colocalization of WASP with microtubules in vivo. We conclude that CIP4 can mediate the association of WASP with microtubules. This may facilitate transport of WASP to sites of substrate adhesion in hematopoietic cells.