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Biochemistry. 2007 Mar 27;46(12):3862-71. Epub 2007 Feb 27.

Calcium-dependent association of calmodulin with the C-terminal domain of the tetraspanin protein peripherin/rds.

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  • 1Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut 06269, USA.


Peripherin/rds (p/rds), an integral membrane protein from the transmembrane 4 (TMF4) superfamily, possesses a multi-functional C-terminal domain that plays crucial roles in rod outer segment (ROS) disk renewal and structure. Here, we report that the calcium binding protein calmodulin (CaM) binds to the C-terminal domain of p/rds. Fluorescence spectroscopy reveals Ca2+-dependent association of CaM with a polypeptide corresponding to the C-terminal domain of p/rds. The fluorescence anisotropy of the polypeptide upon CaM titration yields a dissociation constant (KD) of 320 +/- 150 nM. The results of the fluorescence experiments were confirmed by GST-pull down analyses in which a GST-p/rds C-terminal domain fusion protein was shown to pull down CaM in a calcium-dependent manner. Moreover, molecular modeling and sequence predictions suggest that the CaM binding domain resides in a p/rds functional hot spot, between residues E314 and G329. Predictions were confirmed by peptide competition studies and a GST-p/rds C-terminal domain construct in which the putative Ca2+/CaM binding site was scrambled. This GST-polypeptide did not associate with Ca2+/CaM. This putative calmodulin domain is highly conserved between human, mouse, rat, and bovine p/rds. Finally, the binding of Ca2+/CaM inhibited fusion between ROS disk and ROS plasma membranes as well as p/rds C-terminal-domain-induced fusion in model membrane studies. These results offer a new mechanism for the modulation of p/rds function.

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