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We report the 1.6 Angstrom resolution crystal structure of SH3BGRL3, a member of a new mammalian protein family of unknown function. The observed "thioredoxin fold" of SH3BGRL3 matches the tertiary structure of glutaredoxins, even in the N-terminal region where the sequence similarity between the two protein families is negligible. In particular, SH3BGRL3 displays structural modifications at the N-terminal Cys-x-x-Cys loop, responsible for glutathione binding and catalysis in glutaredoxins. The loop hosts a six residue insertion, yielding an extra N-terminal-capped helical turn, first observed here for the thioredoxin fold. This, together with deletion of both Cys residues, results in a substantial reshaping of the neighboring cleft, where glutathione is hosted in glutaredoxins. While not active in redox reaction and glutathione binding, SH3BGRL3 may act as an endogenous modulator of glutaredoxin activities by competing, with its fully conserved thioredoxin fold, for binding to yet unknown target proteins.


Marco Nardini, Michela Mazzocco, Anna Massaro, Massimo Maffei, Alessandro Vergano, Alessandra Donadini, Paolo Scartezzini, Martino Bolognesi. Crystal structure of the glutaredoxin-like protein SH3BGRL3 at 1.6 Angstrom resolution. Biochemical and biophysical research communications. 2004 May 28;318(2):470-6

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PMID: 15120624

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