Crystallographic analysis of NHERF1-PLCβ3 interaction provides structural basis for CXCR2 signaling in pancreatic cancer

Yuanyuan Jiang, Shuo Wang, Joshua Holcomb, Laura Trescott, Xiaoqing Guan, Yuning Hou, Joseph Brunzelle, Nualpun Sirinupong, Chunying Li*, Zhe Yang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


The formation of CXCR2-NHERF1-PLCβ3 macromolecular complex in pancreatic cancer cells regulates CXCR2 signaling activity and plays an important role in tumor proliferation and invasion. We previously have shown that disruption of the NHERF1-mediated CXCR2-PLCβ3 interaction abolishes the CXCR2 signaling cascade and inhibits pancreatic tumor growth in vitro and in vivo. Here we report the crystal structure of the NHERF1 PDZ1 domain in complex with the C-terminal PLCβ3 sequence. The structure reveals that the PDZ1-PLCβ3 binding specificity is achieved by numerous hydrogen bonds and hydrophobic contacts with the last four PLCβ3 residues contributing to specific interactions. We also show that PLCβ3 can bind both NHERF1 PDZ1 and PDZ2 in pancreatic cancer cells, consistent with the observation that the peptide binding pockets of these PDZ domains are highly structurally conserved. This study provides an understanding of the structural basis for the PDZ-mediated NHERF1-PLCβ3 interaction that could prove valuable in selective drug design against CXCR2-related cancers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)638-643
Number of pages6
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 4 2014


  • CXCR2
  • NHERF1
  • PLCβ3
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Scaffold protein
  • X-ray crystallography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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