Alternative splicing affecting the SH3A domain controls the binding properties of intersectin 1 in neurons.
Intersectin 1 (ITSN1) is a conserved adaptor protein implicated in endocytosis, regulation of actin cytoskeleton rearrangements and mitogenic signaling. Its expression is characterized by multiple alternative splicing. Here we show neuron-specific expression of ITSN1 isoforms containing exon 20, which encodes five amino acid residues in the first SH3 domain (SH3A). In vitro binding experiments demonstrated that inclusion of exon 20 changes the binding properties of the SH3A domain. Endocytic proteins dynamin 1 and synaptojanin 1 as well as GTPase-activating protein CdGAP bound the neuron-specific variant of the SH3A domain with higher affinity than ubiquitously expressed SH3A. In contrast, SOS1, a guanine nucleotide exchange factor for Ras, and the ubiquitin ligase Cbl mainly interact with the ubiquitously expressed isoform. These results demonstrate that alternative splicing leads to the formation of two pools of ITSN1 with potentially different properties in neurons, affecting ITSN1 function as adaptor protein.