WASp-interacting protein (WIP), a regulator of actin cytoskeleton assembly and remodeling, is a cellular multi-tasker and a key member of a network of protein–protein interactions, with significant impact on health and disease. Here, we attempt to complement the well-established understanding of WIP function from cell biology studies, summarized in several reviews, with a structural description of WIP interactions, highlighting works that present a molecular view of WIP’s protein–protein interactions. This provides a deeper understanding of the mechanisms by which WIP mediates its biological functions. The fully disordered WIP also serves as an intriguing example of how intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs) exert their function. WIP consists of consecutive small functional domains and motifs that interact with a host of cellular partners, with a striking preponderance of proline-rich motif capable of interactions with several well-recognized binding partners; indeed, over 30% of the WIP primary structure are proline residues. We focus on the binding motifs and binding interfaces of three important WIP segments, the actin-binding N-terminal domain, the central domain that binds SH3 domains of various interaction partners, and the WASp-binding C-terminal domain. Beyond the obvious importance of a more fundamental understanding of the biology of this central cellular player, this approach carries an immediate and highly beneficial effect on drug-design efforts targeting WIP and its binding partners. These factors make the value of such structural studies, challenging as they are, readily apparent.
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- Cytoskeleton remodeling
- Intrinsically disordered proteins
- Proline-rich motif
- Protein–protein interactions
- SH3 domain
- WASp interacting protein