Evidence for two CRIB domains in phospholipase D2 (PLD2) that the enzyme uses to specifically bind to the small GTPase Rac2

Hong Juan Peng, Karen M. Henkels, Madhu Mahankali, Mary C. Dinauer, Julian Gomez-Cambronero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Phospholipase D (PLD) and small GTPases are vital to cell signaling. We report that the Rac2 and the PLD2 isoforms exist in the cell as a lipase-GTPase complex that enables the two proteins to elicit their respective functionalities. A strong association between the two molecules was demonstrated by co-immunoprecipitation and was confirmed in living cells by FRET with CFP-Rac2 and YFP-PLD2 fluorescent chimeras. We have identified the amino acids in PLD2 that define a specific binding site to Rac2. This site is composed of two CRIB (Cdc42-and Racinteractive binding) motifs that we have named "CRIB-1" and "CRIB-2" in and around the PH domain in PLD2. Deletion mutants PLD2-ΔCRIB-1/2 negate co-immunoprecipitation with Rac2 and diminish the FRET signal in living cells. The PLD2-Rac2 association was further confirmed in vitro using affinity-purified recombinant proteins. Binding was saturable with an apparent Kd of 3 nM and was diminished with PLD2-ΔCRIB mutants. Furthermore, PLD2 bound more efficiently to Rac2-GTP than to Rac2-GDP or to a GDP-constitutive Rac2-N17 mutant. Increasing concentrations of recombinant Rac2 in vitro and in vivo during cell adhesion inhibit PLD2. Conversely, Rac2 activity is increased in the presence ofPLD2-WTbut not in PLD2-ΔCRIB. We propose that in activated cells PLD2 affects Rac2 in an initial positive feedback, but as Rac2-GTP accumulates in the cell, this constitutes a "termination signal" leading to PLD2 inactivation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16308-16320
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number18
StatePublished - May 6 2011


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