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IUBMB Life. 2001 Apr;51(4):215-21.

Evolutionary aspects of calmodulin.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Howard University, College of Medicine, Washington, DC 20059, USA. ffriedberg@howard.edu

Abstract

Calmodulin (CaM) is a major cellular sensor of calcium signaling, interacts with numerous proteins associated with cellular second messenger systems (e.g., cyclic AMP, nitric oxide), and is associated with neurosecretory activity. An identical CaM protein consisting of four helix-loop-helix regions that arose by gene duplication is encoded by three nonallelic mammalian genes that are some of the most highly conserved genes known. Differential tissue and cellular expression of each CaM suggest unique functions that promote strong selective preservation of these replicate, yet distinct, CaM genes in mammals. Each gene displays the same exon-intron arrangement but is characterized by distinct promoter elements and by unique 5'- and 3'-untranslated regions that are highly conserved among human, rat, and mouse. These distinct untranslated regions may permit regulation of CaM levels at discrete cellular sites during differentiation and in highly specialized cell types such as neurons.

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