The C-terminal domain of poly(A)-binding protein (PABC) is a peptide-binding domain found in poly(A)-binding proteins (PABPs) and a HECT (homologous to E6-AP C-terminus) family E3 ubiquitin ligase. In protein synthesis, the PABC domain of PABP functions to recruit several translation factors possessing the PABP-interacting motif 2 (PAM2) to the mRNA poly(A) tail. We have determined the solution structure of the human PABC domain in complex with two peptides from PABP-interacting protein-1 (Paip1) and Paip2. The structures show a novel mode of peptide recognition, in which the peptide binds as a pair of beta-turns with extensive hydrophobic, electrostatic and aromatic stacking interactions. Mutagenesis of PABC and peptide residues was used to identify key protein-peptide interactions and quantified by isothermal calorimetry, surface plasmon resonance and GST pull-down assays. The results provide insight into the specificity of PABC in mediating PABP-protein interactions.
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