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J Biol Chem. 2002 Nov 1;277(44):41872-8. Epub 2002 Aug 28.

The calcium sensor protein visinin-like protein-1 modulates the surface expression and agonist sensitivity of the alpha 4beta 2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor.

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  • 1Neuroscience Center of Excellence, Louisiana, New Orleans 70112, USA.


The calcium sensor protein visinin-like protein-1 (VILIP-1) was isolated from a brain cDNA yeast two-hybrid library using the large cytoplasmic domain of the alpha4 subunit as a bait. VILIP-1 is a myristoylated calcium sensor protein that contains three functional calcium binding EF-hand motifs. The alpha4 subunit residues 302-339 were found to be essential for the interaction with VILIP-1. VILIP-1 coimmunopurified with detergent-solubilized recombinant alpha4beta2 acetylcholine receptors (AChRs) expressed in tsA201 cells and with native alpha4 AChRs isolated from brain. Coexpression of VILIP-1 with recombinant alpha4beta2 AChRs up-regulated their surface expression levels approximately 2-fold and increased their agonist sensitivity to acetylcholine approximately 3-fold. The modulation of the recombinant alpha4beta2 AChRs by VILIP-1 was attenuated in VILIP-1 mutants that lacked the ability to be myristoylated or to bind calcium. Collectively, these results suggest that VILIP-1 represents a novel modulator of alpha4beta2 AChRs that increases their surface expression levels and agonist sensitivity in response to changes in the intracellular levels of calcium.

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