EF-hand, calcium binding motif, found in apoptosis-linked gene 2 protein (ALG-2) and similar proteins
ALG-2, also termed programmed cell death protein 6 (PDCD6), or probable calcium-binding protein ALG-2, is one of the prototypic members of the penta EF-hand protein family. It is a widely expressed calcium-binding modulator protein associated with cell proliferation and death, as well as cell survival. ALG-2 acts as a pro-apoptotic factor participating in T cell receptor-, Fas-, and glucocorticoid-induced programmed cell death, and also serves as a useful molecular marker for the prognosis of cancers. Moreover, ALG-2 functions as a calcium ion sensor at endoplasmic reticulum (ER) exit sites, and modulates ER-stress-stimulated cell death and neuronal apoptosis during organ formation. Furthermore, ALG-2 can mediate the pro-apoptotic activity of cisplatin or tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFalpha) through the down-regulation of nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB) expression. It also inhibits angiogenesis through PI3K/mTOR/p70S6K pathway by interacting of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-2 (VEGFR-2). In addition, nuclear ALG-2 may participate in the post-transcriptional regulation of Inositol Trisphosphate Receptor Type 1 (IP3R1) pre-mRNA at least in part by interacting with CHERP (Ca2+ homeostasis endoplasmic reticulum protein) calcium-dependently. ALG-2 contains five serially repeated EF-hand motifs and interacts with various proteins, including ALG-2-interacting protein X (Alix), Fas, annexin XI, death-associated protein kinase 1 (DAPk1), Tumor susceptibility gene 101 (TSG101), Sec31A, phospholipid scramblase 3 (PLSCR3), the P-body component PATL1, and endosomal sorting complex required for transport (ESCRT)-III-related protein IST1, in a calcium-dependent manner. It forms a homodimer in the cell or a heterodimer with its closest paralog peflin. Among the PEF proteins, ALG-2 can bind three Ca2+ ions through its EF1, EF3, and EF5 hands, where it is unique in that its EF5 hand binds Ca2+ ion in a canonical coordination.