CasL/HEF1 belongs to the p130(Cas) family. It is tyrosine-phosphorylated following beta(1) integrin and/or T cell receptor stimulation and is thus considered to be important for immunological reactions. CasL has several structural motifs such as an SH3 domain and a substrate domain and interacts with many molecules through these motifs. To obtain more insights on the CasL-mediated signal transduction, we sought proteins that interact with the CasL SH3 domain by far Western screening, and we identified a novel human molecule, MICAL (a Molecule Interacting with CasL). MICAL is a protein of 118 kDa and is expressed in the thymus, lung, spleen, kidney, testis, and hematopoietic cells. MICAL has a calponin homology domain, a LIM domain, a putative leucine zipper motif, and a proline-rich PPKPP sequence. MICAL associates with CasL through this PPKPP sequence. MICAL is a cytoplasmic protein and colocalizes with CasL at the perinuclear area. Through the COOH-terminal region, MICAL also associates with vimentin that is a major component of intermediate filaments. Immunostaining revealed that MICAL localizes along with vimentin intermediate filaments. These results suggest that MICAL may be a cytoskeletal regulator that connects CasL to intermediate filaments.
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