Zinc finger, ZPR1-type, subgroup (IPR004470)

Short name: Znf_ZPR1-type_subgr

Overlapping homologous superfamilies


Family relationships



Zinc finger (Znf) domains are relatively small protein motifs which contain multiple finger-like protrusions that make tandem contacts with their target molecule. Some of these domains bind zinc, but many do not; instead binding other metals such as iron, or no metal at all. For example, some family members form salt bridges to stabilise the finger-like folds. They were first identified as a DNA-binding motif in transcription factor TFIIIA from Xenopus laevis (African clawed frog), however they are now recognised to bind DNA, RNA, protein and/or lipid substrates [PMID: 10529348, PMID: 15963892, PMID: 15718139, PMID: 17210253, PMID: 12665246]. Their binding properties depend on the amino acid sequence of the finger domains and of the linker between fingers, as well as on the higher-order structures and the number of fingers. Znf domains are often found in clusters, where fingers can have different binding specificities. There are many superfamilies of Znf motifs, varying in both sequence and structure. They display considerable versatility in binding modes, even between members of the same class (e.g. some bind DNA, others protein), suggesting that Znf motifs are stable scaffolds that have evolved specialised functions. For example, Znf-containing proteins function in gene transcription, translation, mRNA trafficking, cytoskeleton organisation, epithelial development, cell adhesion, protein folding, chromatin remodelling and zinc sensing, to name but a few [PMID: 11179890]. Zinc-binding motifs are stable structures, and they rarely undergo conformational changes upon binding their target.

This entry represents ZPR1-type zinc finger domains. ZPR1 was shown experimentally to bind approximately two moles of zinc, and has two copies of a domain homologous to this protein, each containing a putative zinc finger of the form CXXCX(25)CXXC. ZPR1 binds the tyrosine kinase domain of epidermal growth factor receptor but is displaced by receptor activation and autophosphorylation after which it redistributes in part to the nucleus. The proteins described by this family by analogy may be suggested to play a role in signal transduction as proven for other Z-finger binding proteins.

Deficiencies in ZPR1 may contribute to neurodegenerative disorders. ZPR1 appears to be down-regulated in patients with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), a disease characterised by degeneration of the alpha-motor neurons in the spinal cord that can arise from mutations affecting the expression of Survival Motor Neurons (SMN) [PMID: 16648254]. ZPR1 interacts with complexes formed by SMN [PMID: 17068332], and may act as a modifier that effects the severity of SMA.

GO terms

Biological Process

No terms assigned in this category.

Molecular Function

GO:0008270 zinc ion binding

Cellular Component

No terms assigned in this category.

Contributing signatures

Signatures from InterPro member databases are used to construct an entry.