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Science. 1992 Aug 28;257(5074):1251-5.

Target enzyme recognition by calmodulin: 2.4 A structure of a calmodulin-peptide complex.

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  • 1Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030.


The crystal structure of calcium-bound calmodulin (Ca(2+)-CaM) bound to a peptide analog of the CaM-binding region of chicken smooth muscle myosin light chain kinase has been determined and refined to a resolution of 2.4 angstroms (A). The structure is compact and has the shape of an ellipsoid (axial ratio approximately 2:1). The bound CaM forms a tunnel diagonal to its long axis that engulfs the helical peptide, with the hydrophobic regions of CaM melded into a single area that closely covers the hydrophobic side of the peptide. There is a remarkably high pseudo-twofold symmetry between the closely associated domains. The central helix of the native CaM is unwound and expanded into a bend between residues 73 and 77. About 185 contacts (less than 4 A) are formed between CaM and the peptide, with van der Waals contacts comprising approximately 80% of this total.

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