Tondu domain-containing growth inhibitor (Tgi) is one of a growing number of multivalent PPxY proteins that regulate cell growth via interactions with the tandem WW domains of the transcription coactivator protein, Yorkie (Yki). These proteins are attractive candidates for targeted drug design, but the substantial amount of disorder predicted from their primary sequences makes structural studies that are foundational to drug design challenging. We have successfully overexpressed full length recombinant Tgi and Yki, experimentally confirmed that intrinsic structural disorder is common to both proteins, and assessed binding of the Yki WW domains to the three Tgi PPxY motifs using nuclear magnetic resonance and isothermal titration calorimetry. We find that the tandem WW domains positively cooperate to engage all three PPxY sites with a broad range of affinities. The first PPxY motif that is quite distant from the other two serves as the "binding initiation" site and is essential for high-affinity interactions. Importantly, by monitoring binding to the full length or larger protein domains, we obtain more physiologically relevant affinity information and identify "long-range" residues that could be targeted to fine-tune binding. This expansion of protein functionality through modulation of residues outside the recognition sequences offers potential alternative targets for drug design.

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