Probing the 14-3-3 Isoform-Specificity Profile of Interactions Stabilized by Fusicoccin A

Fusicoccin A (FC) is a fungal phytotoxin that stabilizes protein–protein interactions (PPIs) between 14-3-3 adapter proteins and their phosphoprotein interaction partners. In recent years, FC has emerged as an important chemical probe of human 14-3-3 PPIs implicated in cancer and neurological diseases. These previous studies have established the structural requirements for FC-induced stabilization of 14-3-3·client phosphoprotein complexes; however, the effect of different 14-3-3 isoforms on FC activity has not been systematically explored. This is a relevant question for the continued development of FC variants because there are seven distinct isoforms of 14-3-3 in humans. Despite their remarkable sequence and structural similarities, a growing body of experimental evidence supports both tissue-specific expression of 14-3-3 isoforms and isoform-specific functions in vivo. Herein, we report the isoform-specificity profile of FC in vitrousing recombinant human 14-3-3 isoforms and a focused library of fluorescein-labeled hexaphosphopeptides mimicking the C-terminal 14-3-3 recognition domains of client phosphoproteins targeted by FC in cell culture. Our results reveal modest isoform preferences for individual client phospholigands and demonstrate that FC differentially stabilizes PPIs involving 14-3-3s. Together, these data provide strong motivation for the development of non-natural FC variants with enhanced selectivity for individual 14-3-3 isoforms.