Rodríguez-Fdez S, Citterio C, Lorenzo-Martín LF, Baltanás-Copado J, Llorente-González C, Corbalán-García S, Vicente-Manzanares M, Bustelo XR.
Phosphatidylinositol-5 phosphate (PI5P) and other mono-phosphoinositides (mono-PIs) play second messenger roles in both physiological and pathological conditions. Despite this, their intracellular targets and mechanisms of action remain poorly characterized. Here, we show that Vav1, a protein that exhibits both Rac1 GDP/GTP exchange and adaptor activities, is positively modulated by PI5P and, possibly, other mono-PIs. Unlike other phospholipid-protein complexes, the affinity and specificity of the Vav1-lipid interaction entail a new structural solution that involves the synergistic action of the Vav1 C1 domain and an adjacent polybasic tail. This new regulatory layer, which is not conserved in the Vav family paralogs, favors the engagement of optimal Vav1 signaling outputs in lymphocytes.