Cellular mechanosensing is pivotal for virtually all biological processes, and many molecular mechano-sensors and their way of function are being uncovered. In this work, we suggest that c-Src kinase acts as a direct mechano-sensor. c-Src is responsible for, among others, cell proliferation, and shows increased activity in stretched cells. In its native state, c-Src has little basal activity, because its kinase domain binds to an SH2 and SH3 domain. However, it is known that c-Src can bind to p130Cas, through which force can be transmitted to the membrane. Using molecular dynamics simulations, we show that force acting between the membrane-bound N-terminus of the SH3 domain and p130Cas induces partial SH3 unfolding, thereby impeding rebinding of the kinase domain onto SH2/SH3 and effectively enhancing kinase activity. Forces involved in this process are slightly lower or similar to the forces required to pull out c-Src from the membrane through the myristoyl linker, and key interactions involved in this anchoring are salt bridges between negative lipids and nearby basic residues in c-Src. Thus, c-Src appears to be a candidate for an intriguing mechanosensing mechanism of impaired kinase inhibition, which can be potentially tuned by membrane composition and other environmental factors.
PubMed ID: 35120901
Projects: Molecular Biomechanics
Publication type: Journal
Journal: Biophysical Journal
Publisher: Elsevier BV
Created: 21st Feb 2022 at 02:28
Last updated: 9th Feb 2023 at 14:17