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J Physiol. 1996 Aug 1;494 ( Pt 3):675-85.

Cyclic GMP-gated channels of bovine rod photoreceptors: affinity, density and stoichiometry of Ca(2+)-calmodulin binding sites.

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  • Institut für Biologische Informationsverarbeitung, Forschungszentrum Jülich, Germany. P.J.Bauer@kfa-juelich.de


1. Ca(2+)-loaded vesicles of bovine rod outer segment (ROS) membranes were used to examine the influence of Ca(2+)-calmodulin (Ca(2+)-CaM) on the activity of cGMP-gated channels. 2. In vesicles prepared from ROS membranes which were washed at zero free Ca2+, Ca(2+)-CaM reduced the Ca2+ flux to maximally 40%. The dose-response curve for activation of the cGMP-gated channel had a half-maximal value of 36.8 +/- 2 microM in the CaM-free state, and of 55.6 +/- 5.2 microM in the Ca(2+)-CaM-bound state. In both cases the Hill coefficients were 2.2 +/- 0.2. 3. In vesicles prepared from ROS membranes which were washed at 100 microM Ca2+, the dose-response curve was identical to the Ca(2+)-CaM-bound state. 4. Titration of the Ca(2+)-CaM-dependent decrease of the channel activity upon addition of 40 microM cGMP yielded half-maximal Ca(2+)-CaM concentrations (EC50CaM) which were linearly correlated with the concentration of membrane vesicles. Extrapolation of EC50CaM to infinite dilution of vesicles yielded a Ca(2+)-CaM affinity constant for the cGMP-gated channel of 1.01 +/- 0.20 nM. Hill analysis of the Ca(2+)-CaM titrations resulted in a Hill coefficient of 1.36 +/- 0.15. 5. From the slope of the linear regression of EC50CaM plotted vs. the rhodopsin concentration, the molar ratio of rhodopsin to externally accessible Ca(2+)-CaM binding sites of fused ROS membranes was determined to be 1439 +/- 109. Therefore, there are about 720 molecules of rhodopsin per Ca(2+)-CaM binding site present in ROS. 6. Based on these data, a density of 560 Ca(2+)-CaM binding sites micron-2 is estimated for the plasma membrane of bovine ROS, suggesting that there are two Ca(2+)-CaM binding sites per channel. 7. The Ca(2+)-CaM effect did not become noticeable until the ROS membranes were hypotonically washed at free [Ca2+] below 100 nM, suggesting that an endogenous Ca(2+)-binding protein was washed off in the absence of Ca2+. 8. If the endogenous Ca(2+)-binding protein of bovine ROS membranes was washed off at zero Ca2+ and then Ca(2+)-CaM added, Ca(2+)-CaM could only be washed off again at free [Ca2+] below 100 nM. 9. These findings strongly suggest that the endogenous Ca(2+)-binding protein of the bovine cGMP-gated channel is CaM.

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