Tyrosine-protein kinase ABL, SH2 domain (IPR035837)

Short name: ABL_SH2

Overlapping homologous superfamilies

Domain relationships

  • SH2 domain (IPR000980)
    • Tyrosine-protein kinase ABL, SH2 domain (IPR035837)


ABL-family proteins are highly conserved tyrosine kinases. Each ABL protein contains an SH3-SH2-TK (Src homology 3-Src homology 2-tyrosine kinase) domain cassette, which confers autoregulated kinase activity and is common among nonreceptor tyrosine kinases. Several types of posttranslational modifications control ABL catalytic activity, subcellular localization, and stability, with consequences for both cytoplasmic and nuclear ABL functions. Binding partners provide additional regulation of ABL catalytic activity, substrate specificity, and downstream signaling. By combining this cassette with actin-binding and -bundling domains, ABL proteins are capable of connecting phosphoregulation with actin-filament reorganization [PMID: 20841568].

Vertebrate paralogs, ABL1 and ABL2, have evolved to perform specialized functions. ABL1 includes nuclear localization signals and a DNA binding domain which is used to mediate DNA damage-repair functions, while ABL2 has additional binding capacity for actin and for microtubules to enhance its cytoskeletal remodeling functions. SH2 is involved in several autoinhibitory mechanism that constrain the enzymatic activity of the ABL-family kinases. In one mechanism SH2 and SH3 cradle the kinase domain while a cap sequence stabilizes the inactive conformation resulting in a locked inactive state. Another involves phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PIP2) which binds the SH2 domain through residues normally required for phosphotyrosine binding in the linker segment between the SH2 and kinase domains. The SH2 domain contributes to ABL catalytic activity and target site specificity. It is thought that the ABL catalytic site and SH2 pocket have co-evolved to recognize the same sequences. Recent work now supports a hierarchical processivity model in which the substrate target site most compatible with ABL kinase domain preferences is phosphorylated with greatest efficiency. If this site is compatible with the ABL SH2 domain specificity, it will then reposition and dock in the SH2 pocket. This mechanism also explains how ABL kinases phosphorylates poor targets on the same substrate if they are properly positioned and how relatively poor substrate proteins might be recruited to ABL through a complex with strong substrates that can also dock with the SH2 pocket [PMID: 20841568].

This entry includes the SH2 domain of ABL-family proteins. In general SH2 domains are involved in signal transduction. They typically bind pTyr-containing ligands via two surface pockets, a pTyr and hydrophobic binding pocket, allowing proteins with SH2 domains to localize to tyrosine phosphorylated sites [PMID: 9241420, PMID: 10398925, PMID: 19926274, PMID: 19273114].

Contributing signatures

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