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J Mol Biol. 2001 Nov 16;314(1):51-61.

Ca(2+) induces an extended conformation of the inhibitory region of troponin I in cardiac muscle troponin.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL 35294, USA. wdong@uab.edu


The inhibitory region of troponin I (TnI) plays a central regulatory role in the contraction and relaxation cycle of skeletal and cardiac muscle through its Ca(2+)-dependent interaction with actin. Detailed structural information on the interface between TnC and this region of TnI has been long in dispute. We have used fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) to investigate the global conformation of the inhibitory region of a full-length TnI mutant from cardiac muscle (cTnI) in the unbound state and in reconstituted complexes with the other cardiac troponin subunits. The mutant contained a single tryptophan residue at the position 129 which was used as an energy transfer donor, and a single cysteine residue at the position 152 labeled with IAEDANS as energy acceptor. The sequence between Trp129 and Cys152 in cTnI brackets the inhibitory region (residues 130-149), and the distance between the two sites was found to be 19.4 A in free cTnI. This distance was insensitive to reconstitution of cTnI with cardiac troponin T (cTnT), cTnC, or cTnC and cTnT in the absence of bound regulatory Ca(2+) in cTnC. An increase of 9 A in the Trp129-Cys152 separation was observed upon saturation of the Ca(2+) regulatory site of cTnC in the complexes. This large increase suggests an extended conformation of the inhibitory region in the interface between cTnC and cTnI in holo cardiac troponin. This extended conformation is different from a recent model of the Ca(2+)-saturated skeletal TnI-TnC complex in which the inhibitory region is modeled as a beta-turn. The observed Ca(2+)-induced conformational change may be a switch mechanism by which movement of the regulatory region of cTnI to the exposed hydrophobic patch of the open regulatory N-domain of cTnC pulls the inhibitory region away from actin upon Ca(2+) activation in cardiac muscle.

Copyright 2001 Academic Press.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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