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Biochemistry. 1988 Nov 1;27(22):8388-93.

Interaction between caldesmon and tropomyosin in the presence and absence of smooth muscle actin.

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  • 1Department of Pathobiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia 19104.


Cysteine residues of caldesmon were labeled with the fluorescent reagent N-(1-pyrenyl)maleimide. The number of sulfhydryl (SH) groups in caldesmon was around 3.5 on the basis of reactivity to 5,5'-dithiobis(2-nitrobenzoate); 80% of the SH groups were labeled with pyrene. The fluorescence spectrum from pyrene-caldesmon showed the presence of excited monomer and dimer (excimer). As the ionic strength increased, excimer fluorescence decreased, disappearing at salt concentrations higher than around 50 mM. The labeling of caldesmon with pyrene did not affect its ability to inhibit actin activation of heavy meromyosin Mg-ATPase and the release of this inhibition in the presence of Ca2+-calmodulin. Tropomyosin induced a change in the fluorescence spectrum of pyrene-caldesmon, indicating a conformational change associated with the interaction between caldesmon and tropomyosin. The affinity of caldesmon to tropomyosin was dependent on ionic strength. The binding constant was 5 x 10(6) M-1 in low salt, and the affinity was 20-fold less at ionic strengths close to physiological conditions. In the presence of actin, the affinity of caldesmon to tropomyosin was increased 5-fold. The addition of tropomyosin also changed the fluorescence spectrum of pyrene-caldesmon bound to actin filaments. The change in the conformation of tropomyosin, caused by the interaction between caldesmon and tropomyosin, was studied with pyrene-labeled tropomyosin. Fluorescence change was evident when unlabeled caldesmon was added to pyrene-tropomyosin bound to actin. These data suggest that the interaction between caldesmon and tropomyosin on the actin filament is associated with conformational changes on these thin filament associated proteins. These conformational changes may modulate the ability of thin filament to interact with myosin heads.

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