Chimeric calmodulin-cardiac troponin C proteins differentially activate calmodulin target enzymes.
To evaluate the role of domain I of calmodulin (CaM) in the activation of target enzymes, a series of CaM mutants was constructed in which domain I (49 amino acids) was substantially deleted, or was exchanged with the homologous region (58 amino acids) of cardiac troponin C (cTnC). The proteins are 1) aM, a mutant CaM in which domain I has been deleted; 2) TaM, first domain of cTnC, last three domains of CaM; 3) TaM-BMI, same as TaM, except the nonfunctional first Ca2(+)-binding domain has been restored by mutagenesis; 4) CaT, first domain of CaM, last three domains of cTnC. These proteins were evaluated for Ca2+ binding properties and as activators of three CaM target enzymes, CaM-dependent phosphodiesterase (PDE), smooth muscle myosin light chain kinase (MLCK), and CaM-dependent multifunctional protein kinase (CaM kinase II). The chimeric proteins containing four domains bound Ca2+ in the manner expected from the number and nature of EF hands. In contrast, aM bound only two Ca2+, suggesting that deletion of domain I may have disrupted binding in one of the remaining three domains, and did not activate the three enzymes. The kinetics of activation of PDE by CaM, TaM, and TaM-BMI were identical. Although cTnC and CaT could maximally activate PDE, the Kact for these mutants were greater than 2000 times than for CaM. All mutated proteins except CaT were poor activators of CaM kinase II and this protein activated the kinase to 65% that of CaM, with a nearly identical Kact. CaT and TaM, were poor agonists of MLCK. Activation of Ca2(+)-binding site I in TaM (TaM-BMI), completely prevented activation of MLCK. In addition, TaM-BMI was a potent competitive inhibitor of MLCK activation by CaM (Ki = 66 nM). We conclude 1) a domain I is necessary to activate these target enzymes, and the substitution of the corresponding region of cTnC into CaM leads to differential effects; 2) an active first Ca2(+)-binding site is not essential for activation of PDE and the primary sequence of the first domain of CaM need not be highly conserved; 3) for CaM kinase II, determinants in the first domain are critical whereas more flexibility exists for the remaining three domains; 4) since TaM-BMI acts as a potent competitive inhibitor of MLCK binding of CaM to a target enzyme and activation can be dissociable events.
George, SE; VanBerkum, MF; Ono, T; Cook, R; Hanley, RM; Putkey, JA; Means, AR
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