Trafficking of peroxisomal targeting signal 1 (PTS1) proteins to the Leishmania glycosome is dependent on the docking of the LdPEX5 receptor to LdPEX14 on the glycosomal membrane. A combination of deletion and random mutagenesis was used to identify residues in the LdPEX14 N-terminal region that are critical for mediating the LdPEX5–LdPEX14 interaction. These studies highlighted residues 35–75 on ldpex14 as the core domain required for binding LdPEX5. Single point mutation within this core domain generally did not affect the ldpex5-(203–391)–ldpex14-(1–120) interaction; notable exceptions were substitutions at Phe40, Val46 or Phe57 which completely abolished or increased the apparent Kd value for ldpex5-(203–391) binding 30-fold. Biochemical studies revealed that these point mutations did not alter either the secondary or quaternary structure of LdPEX14 and indicated that the latter residues were critical for stabilizing the LdPEX5–LdPEX14 interaction.

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