SH3- and actin-binding domains connect ADNP and SHANK3, revealing a fundamental shared mechanism underlying autism

Yanina Ivashko-Pachima, Maram Ganaiem, Inbar Ben-Horin-Hazak, Alexandra Lobyntseva, Naomi Bellaiche, Inbar Fischer, Gilad Levy, Shlomo Sragovich, Gidon Karmon, Eliezer Giladi, Shula Shazman, Boaz Barak, Illana Gozes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


De novo heterozygous mutations in activity-dependent neuroprotective protein (ADNP) cause autistic ADNP syndrome. ADNP mutations impair microtubule (MT) function, essential for synaptic activity. The ADNP MT-associating fragment NAPVSIPQ (called NAP) contains an MT end-binding protein interacting domain, SxIP (mimicking the active-peptide, SKIP). We hypothesized that not all ADNP mutations are similarly deleterious and that the NAPV portion of NAPVSIPQ is biologically active. Using the eukaryotic linear motif (ELM) resource, we identified a Src homology 3 (SH3) domain-ligand association site in NAP responsible for controlling signaling pathways regulating the cytoskeleton, namely NAPVSIP. Altogether, we mapped multiple SH3-binding sites in ADNP. Comparisons of the effects of ADNP mutations p.Glu830synfs*83, p.Lys408Valfs*31, p.Ser404* on MT dynamics and Tau interactions (live-cell fluorescence-microscopy) suggested spared toxic function in p.Lys408Valfs*31, with a regained SH3-binding motif due to the frameshift insertion. Site-directed-mutagenesis, abolishing the p.Lys408Valfs*31 SH3-binding motif, produced MT toxicity. NAP normalized MT activities in the face of all ADNP mutations, although, SKIP, missing the SH3-binding motif, showed reduced efficacy in terms of MT-Tau interactions, as compared with NAP. Lastly, SH3 and multiple ankyrin repeat domains protein 3 (SHANK3), a major autism gene product, interact with the cytoskeleton through an actin-binding motif to modify behavior. Similarly, ELM analysis identified an actin-binding site on ADNP, suggesting direct SH3 and indirect SHANK3/ADNP associations. Actin co-immunoprecipitations from mouse brain extracts showed NAP-mediated normalization of Shank3-Adnp-actin interactions. Furthermore, NAP treatment ameliorated aberrant behavior in mice homozygous for the Shank3 ASD-linked InsG3680 mutation, revealing a fundamental shared mechanism between ADNP and SHANK3.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3316-3327
Number of pages12
JournalMolecular Psychiatry
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Biology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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