Human retinoblastoma binding protein 9 (RBBP9) is an interacting partner of the retinoblastoma susceptibility protein (Rb). RBBP9 is a tumor-associated protein required for pancreatic neoplasia, affects cell cycle control, and is involved in the TGF-β signalling pathway. Sequence analysis suggests that RBBP9 belongs to the α/β hydrolase superfamily of enzymes. The serine hydrolase activity of RBBP9 is required for development of pancreatic carcinomas in part by inhibiting TGF-β antiproliferative signaling through suppressing Smad2/3 phosphorylation. The crystal structure of human RBBP9 confirms the α/β hydrolase fold, with a six-stranded parallel β-sheet flanked by α helixes. The structure of RBBP9 resembles that of the YdeN protein from Bacillus subtilis, which is suggested to have carboxylesterase activity. RBBP9 contains a Ser75-His165-Asp138 catalytic triad, situated in a prominent pocket on the surface of the protein. The side chains of the LxCxE sequence motif that is important for interaction with Rb is mostly buried in the structure. Structure- function studies of RBBP9 suggest possible routes for novel cancer drug discovery programs.
Keywords: α/β hydrolase, pancreatic cancer, protein structure, structural genomics, RBBP9, antiproliferative, Smad2/3 phosphorylation, Bacillus subtilis, Ser75, emetine, E-cadherin
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