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RhoGAP6 is the most highly expressed GTPase-activating protein (GAP) in platelets specific for RhoA. Structurally RhoGAP6 contains a central catalytic GAP domain surrounded by large, disordered N- and C-termini of unknown function. Sequence analysis revealed three conserved consecutive overlapping di-tryptophan motifs close to the RhoGAP6 C-terminus which were predicted to bind to the mu homology domain (MHD) of δ-COP, a component of the COPI vesicle complex. We confirmed an endogenous interaction between RhoGAP6 and δ-COP in human platelets using GST-CD2AP which binds an N-terminal RhoGAP6 SH3 binding motif. Next, we confirmed that the MHD of δ-COP and the di-tryptophan motifs of RhoGAP6 mediate the interaction between both proteins. Each of the three di-tryptophan motifs appeared necessary for stable δ-COP binding. Proteomic analysis of other potential RhoGAP6 di-tryptophan motif binding partners indicated that the RhoGAP6/δ-COP interaction connects RhoGAP6 to the whole COPI complex. 14-3-3 was also established as a RhoGAP6 binding partner and its binding site was mapped to serine 37. We provide evidence of potential cross-regulation between 14-3-3 and δ-COP binding, however, neither δ-COP nor 14-3-3 binding to RhoGAP6 impacted RhoA activity. Instead, analysis of protein transport through the secretory pathway demonstrated that RhoGAP6/δ-COP binding increased protein transport to the plasma membrane, as did a catalytically inactive mutant of RhoGAP6. Overall, we have identified a novel interaction between RhoGAP6 and δ-COP which is mediated by conserved C-terminal di-tryptophan motifs, and which might control protein transport in platelets. © 2023 The Author(s). Published by Portland Press Limited on behalf of the Biochemical Society.


Lorna O'Donoghue, Shane P Comer, Dishon W Hiebner, Ingmar Schoen, Alex von Kriegsheim, Albert Smolenski. RhoGAP6 interacts with COPI to regulate protein transport. The Biochemical journal. 2023 Jul 26;480(14):1109-1127

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PMID: 37409526

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