Regulation of smooth muscle myosin light chain kinase by calmodulin.
The mutagenesis work described in this paper has been instrumental in furthering our understanding of how CaM binds to and activates MLCK. Figure 2 schematically represents this interaction. The inactive MLCK appears to have a catalytic domain that is repressed by a substrate inhibitory domain that overlaps with the CaM binding domain, a basic amphipathic helix. In the presence of Ca2+, CaM undergoes a conformational change that exposes two hydrophobic pockets, one in each globular lobe, that are important for binding to MLCK. Upon binding CaM, MLCK undergoes a conformational change that derepresses the catalytic site, allows substrate access and light chain phosphorylation. Calmodulin antagonist drugs intercalate within these hydrophobic pockets to interfere with target enzyme binding. The total loss of activity if W800 is altered to A illustrates the importance of these hydrophobic interactions within the enzyme. The basic residues are also important; most of the basic residues in the binding domain of MLCK appear to aid in CaM binding but are not in themselves crucial, this includes the RRK triad. However, a specific electrostatic interaction between R812 of MLCK and CaM is suggested by the complete failure in MLCK activation if this residue is changed to an A. Electrostatic interactions between MLCK and CaM are also indicated by the TaM-BM1 mutant. This mutant can bind to but not activate MLCK. It is hypothesized that TaM-BM1 will bind to the basic amphipathic helix of MLCK but that the alterations in the surface charges (especially E14 and T34) and/or hydrophobicity (S38) prevent the proper conformational change in MLCK necessary for light chain phosphorylation. The resulting MLCK-CaM complex is therefore, inactive but can bind TaM-BM1. The exact interaction of these amino acids in CaM with MLCK will have to await the elucidation of a CaM-MLCK co-crystal.
Means, AR; Bagchi, IC; VanBerkum, MF; Kemp, BE
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