Oligomeric structure of the human EphB2 receptor SAM domain.
The sterile alpha motif (SAM) domain is a protein interaction module that is present in diverse signal-transducing proteins. SAM domains are known to form homo- and hetero-oligomers. The crystal structure of the SAM domain from an Eph receptor tyrosine kinase, EphB2, reveals two large interfaces. In one interface, adjacent monomers exchange amino-terminal peptides that insert into a hydrophobic groove on each neighbor. A second interface is composed of the carboxyl-terminal helix and a nearby loop. A possible oligomer, constructed from a combination of these binding modes, may provide a platform for the formation of larger protein complexes.