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Biochemistry, Biophysics and Molecular Biology, Roy J. Carver Department of

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Journal of Molecular Biology





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The Tec family kinases are tyrosine kinases that function primarily in hematopoietic cells. The catalytic activity of the Tec kinases is positively influenced by the regulatory domains outside of the kinase domain. The current lack of a full-length Tec kinase structure leaves a void in our understanding of how these positive regulatory signals are transmitted to the kinase domain. Recently, a conserved structure within kinases, the ‘regulatory spine’, has been identified that assembles and disassembles as a kinase switches between its active and inactive states. Here we define the residues that comprise the regulatory spine within Tec kinases. Compared to previously characterized systems, the Tec kinases contain an extended regulatory spine that includes a conserved methionine within the C-helix and a conserved tryptophan within the SH2-kinase linker of Tec kinases. This extended regulatory spine forms a conduit for transmitting the presence of the regulatory domains of Tec kinases to the catalytic domain. We further show that mutation of the gatekeeper residue at the edge of the regulatory spine stabilizes the regulatory spine resulting in a constitutively active kinase domain. Importantly, the regulatory spine is preassembled in this gatekeeper mutant rendering phosphorylation on the activation loop unnecessary for its activity. Moreover, we show that the disruption of the conserved electrostatic interaction between Btk R544 on the activation loop and Btk E445 on the C-helix also aids in the assembly of the regulatory spine. Thus, the extended regulatory spine is a key structure that is critical for maintaining the activity of Tec kinases.


This is a manuscript of an article published as Joseph, Raji E., Qian Xie, and Amy H. Andreotti. "Identification of an allosteric signaling network within Tec family kinases." Journal of molecular biology 403, no. 2 (2010): 231-242. doi: 10.1016/j.jmb.2010.08.035. Posted with permission.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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Elsevier Ltd



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