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J Biol Chem. 1997 Mar 21;272(12):7707-12.

Calmodulin regulates endosome fusion.

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  • 1Department of Cell Biology and Physiology, School of Medicine, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri 63110, USA.


Calmodulin (CaM) has previously been implicated in regulated exocytosis, transcytosis, and receptor recycling. We have investigated the role of CaM in endocytic transport by examining the effects of several CaM antagonists in intact cells. We present evidence indicating that the mixing of sequentially internalized ligands is inhibited by CaM antagonists, indicating that CaM may play a general role in regulating endosomal membrane trafficking. To address the specific events that are affected by CaM we studied its role in an in vitro assay that reconstitutes fusion among endosomes. CaM antagonists inhibited endosome fusion, and the inhibition was reversed by the addition of CaM. Moreover, we found that Ca2+ stimulates fusion among endosomes and that addition of CaM stimulates fusion beyond that produced by Ca2+ alone. Our data indicate that one of the possible targets for CaM in endosome fusion is the CaM-dependent kinase II. We propose that CaM regulates endocytic transport by modulating an essential component(s) of the membrane traffic machinery.

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