Biochimica et biophysica acta

The long variant of human ileal bile acid-binding protein associated with colorectal cancer exhibits sub-cellular localization and lipid binding behaviour distinct from those of the common isoform.

PMID 28689989


Ileal bile acid-binding protein, IBABP, participates in the intracellular trafficking of bile salts and influences their signaling activities. The recently discovered variant, IBABP-L, bearing an N-terminal 49-amino acid extension, was found to be associated with colorectal cancer and to protect cancer cells from the cytotoxic effects of deoxycholate. However, the precise function and the molecular properties of this variant are currently unknown. Bioinformatics tools and confocal microscopy were used to investigate the sub-cellular localization of IBABP-L; protein dynamics, ligand binding and interaction with membrane models were studied by 2D NMR and fluorescence spectroscopy. Based on sub-cellular localization experiments we conclude that IBABP-L is targeted to the secretory pathway by a 24-residue signal peptide and, upon its cleavage, the mature protein is constitutively released into the extracellular space. Site-resolved NMR experiments indicated the distinct preference of primary and secondary bile salts to form either heterotypic or homotypic complexes with IBABP-L. The presence of the relatively dynamic N-terminal extension, originating only subtle conformational perturbations in the globular domain, was found to influence binding site occupation in IBABP-L as compared to IBABP. Even more pronounced differences were found in the tendency of the two variants to associate with phospholipid bilayers. IBABP-L exhibits different sub-cellular localization, ligand-binding properties and membrane interaction propensity compared to the canonical short isoform. Our results constitute an essential first step towards an understanding of the role of IBABP-L in bile salt trafficking and signaling under healthy and pathological conditions.