Chiara Bruckmann , 1 , Simone Tamburri 1 , 3 , Valentina De Lorenzi 1 , 4 , Nunzianna Doti 2 , Alessandra Monti 2 , Lisa Mathiasen 1 , Angela Cattaneo 1 , 5 , Menotti Ruvo 2 , Angela Bachi 1 , Francesco Blasi , 1
8 October 2020
Both onco-suppressor PREP1 and the oncogene MEIS1 bind to PBX1. This interaction stabilizes the two proteins and allows their translocation into the nucleus and thus their transcriptional activity. Here, we have combined cross-linking mass-spectrometry and systematic mutagenesis to detail the binding geometry of the PBX1-PREP1 (and PBX1-MEIS1) complexes, under native in vivo conditions. The data confirm the existence of two distinct interaction sites within the PBC domain of PBX1 and unravel differences among the highly similar binding sites of MEIS1 and PREP1. The HR2 domain has a fundamental role in binding the PBC-B domain of PBX1 in both PREP1 and MEIS1. The HR1 domain of MEIS1, however, seem to play a less stringent role in PBX1 interaction with respect to that of PREP1. This difference is also reflected by the different binding affinity of the two proteins to PBX1. Although partial, this analysis provides for the first time some ideas on the tertiary structure of the complexes not available before. Moreover, the extensive mutagenic analysis of PREP1 identifies the role of individual hydrophobic HR1 and HR2 residues, both in vitro and in vivo.