IRS-type PTB domain (IPR002404)

Short name: IRS_PTB

Overlapping homologous superfamilies


Domain relationships


Insulin receptor substrate (IRS) molecules are mediators in insulin signaling and play a role in maintaining basic cellular functions such as growth and metabolism. They act as docking proteins between the insulin receptor and a complex network of intracellular signaling molecules containing Src homology 2 (SH2) domains. Four members (IRS-1, IRS-2, IRS-3, IRS-4) of this family have been identified that differ as to tissue distribution, subcellular localization, developmental expression, binding to the insulin receptor, and interaction with SH2 domain-containing proteins. IRS molecules have an N-terminal pleckstrin homology domain (IPR001849), followed by an IRS-like phosphotyrosine binding (PTB) domain which has a PH-like fold. These domains facilitate interaction with the activated tyrosine-phosphorylated insulin receptor. The PTB domain is situated towards the N terminus. Two arginines in this domain are responsible for hydrogen bonding phosphotyrosine residues on a Ac-LYASSNPApY-NH2 peptide in the juxtamembrane region of the insulin receptor. Further interactions via `bridged' water molecules are coordinated by residues an Asn and a Ser residue [PMID: 8646778].

PTB domains function as adaptors or scaffolds to organise the signalling complexes involved in wide-ranging physiological processes including neural development, immunity, tissue homeostasis and cell growth. Due to structural differences, PTB domains are divided into three groups represented by phosphotyrosine-dependent IRS-like, phosphotyrosine-dependent Shc-like, and phosphotyrosine-independent Dab-like PTBs.

IRS-type PTB domain has an average length of about 100 amino acids. It binds to the insulin receptor through the Asn-Pro-Xaa-Tyr(P) motif found in many tyrosine-phosphorylated proteins. This domain is found in IRS/Dok/SNT proteins that are the major adapters for RTK and cytokine signaling. This domain binds both peptides and headgroups of phosphatidylinositides, utilizing two distinct binding motifs to mediate spatial organisation and localization within cells. The IRS-type PTB domain is found alone or in association with the PH domain [PMID: 15567406, PMID: 8646778]. More recent studies have found that some types of PTB domains can bind to peptides lack tyrosine residues altogether. In contrast to SH2 domains, which recognize phosphotyrosine and adjacent carboxy-terminal residues, PTB-domain binding specificity is conferred by residues amino-terminal to the phosphotyrosine. PTB domains are classified into three groups: phosphotyrosine-dependent Shc-like, phosphotyrosine-dependent IRS-like, and phosphotyrosine-independent Dab-like PTB domains. This entry is part of the IRS-like subgroup [PMID: 8599766, PMID: 10610414].

The 3D structure of IRS-type PTB domain has been solved [PMID: 14607833]. It shares a folding pattern commonly referred to as the PH-domain "superfold". The core "superfold" consists of seven antiparallel beta strands forming two orthogonal beta sheets. This beta sandwich is capped at the C terminus by an alpha helix. It contains a peptide binding pocket (formed by the beta strand 5 and the C-terminal alpha helix) and a highly basic phospholipid binding "crown" (largely composed of residues from loop regions near the N terminus) [PMID: 14607833].

Contributing signatures

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