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*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


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


FundersFunder number
Anne and Alex Cohen
Elton Laboratory for Molecular Neuroendocrinology
European Research Area Network
Miriam and Sheldon G. Adelson Graduate School
Neubauer Family Foundation
Tel Aviv University
Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel-Aviv University
Sagol School of Neuroscience, Tel Aviv University


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