K Homology domain, type 1 (IPR004088)

Short name: KH_dom_type_1

Overlapping homologous superfamilies

Domain relationships


The K homology (KH) domain was first identified in the human heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein (hnRNP) K. It is a domain of around 70 amino acids that is present in a wide variety of quite diverse nucleic acid-binding proteins [PMID: 8036511]. It has been shown to bind RNA [PMID: 9302998, PMID: 10369774]. Like many other RNA-binding motifs, KH motifs are found in one or multiple copies (14 copies in chicken vigilin) and, at least for hnRNP K (three copies) and FMR-1 (two copies), each motif is necessary for in vitro RNA binding activity, suggesting that they may function cooperatively or, in the case of single KH motif proteins (for example, Mer1p), independently [PMID: 8036511].

According to structural [PMID: 9302998, PMID: 10369774, PMID: 11160884] analysis the KH domain can be separated in two groups. The first group or type-1 contain a beta-alpha-alpha-beta-beta-alpha structure, whereas in the type-2 the two last beta-sheet are located in the N-terminal part of the domain (alpha-beta-beta-alpha-alpha-beta). Sequence similarity between these two folds are limited to a short region (VIGXXGXXI) in the RNA binding motif. This motif is located between helice 1 and 2 in type-1 and between helice 2 and 3 in type-2. Proteins known to contain a type-1 KH domain include bacterial polyribonucleotide nucleotidyltransferases (EC:; vertebrate fragile X mental retardation protein 1 (FMR1); eukaryotic heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein K (hnRNP K), one of at least 20 major proteins that are part of hnRNP particles in mammalian cells; mammalian poly(rC) binding proteins; Artemia salina glycine-rich protein GRP33; yeast PAB1-binding protein 2 (PBP2); vertebrate vigilin; and human high-density lipoprotein binding protein (HDL-binding protein).

GO terms

Biological Process

No terms assigned in this category.

Molecular Function

GO:0003723 RNA binding

Cellular Component

No terms assigned in this category.

Contributing signatures

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