PICK1 is a peripheral membrane protein conserved from Caenorhabditis elegans to the human. It is expressed in many tissues with high levels in brain and testis. Inside cells, PICK1 is localized at the perinuclear region as well as specialized structures such as synapses of neurons. PICK1 contains a PDZ domain and a BAR domain. The PDZ domain of PICK1 binds to a large number of membrane proteins, especially proteins with C-terminal type II PDZ-binding motifs. The BAR domain of PICK1 binds to lipid molecules, mainly phosphoinositides. While the PDZ domain and the linker region of PICK1 enhance BAR domain’s lipid binding, the C-terminal region of PICK1 inhibits its lipid binding. PICK1 regulates the subcellular localization and surface expression of its PDZ-binding partners. Lipid binding of PICK1’s BAR domain is important for this regulation. With its PDZ domain interacting with membrane proteins and its BAR domain binding to lipids, the unique structure of PICK1 enables it to couple membrane proteins to protein-trafficking machinery.

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