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Biochemistry. 2000 Nov 14;39(45):13831-7.

Acid pairs increase the N-terminal Ca2+ affinity of CaM by increasing the rate of Ca2+ association.

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Department of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, The Ohio State University Medical Center, Columbus, Ohio 43210, USA.


A series of N-terminal calmodulin (CaM) mutants was generated to probe the relationship between the N-terminal Ca(2+) affinity and the number of paired, negatively charged Ca(2+) chelating residues in the N-terminal Ca(2+)-binding sites of CaM. When the number of acid pairs [negatively charged residues at positions +x and -x (X-axis), +y and -y (Y-axis), and +z and -z (Z-axis)] was increased from zero to one and then to two, a progressive increase was seen in the N-terminal Ca(2+) affinities. The maximal ranges of the increases observed in the N-terminal Ca(2+) affinity were approximately 8-8.5-fold for site I, approximately 4.5-5-fold for site II, and approximately 11-fold for both sites, in comparison to the mutants containing no acid pairs. The maximal values of N-terminal Ca(2+) affinity were bestowed by the presence of five acidic chelating residues in site I or II, individually. Addition of the sixth acidic chelating residue (third acid pair) to both N-terminal Ca(2+)-binding sites reduced the N-terminal Ca(2+) affinity. The increases in Ca(2+) affinity observed were caused by an increase in the Ca(2+) association rates for the Y- and Z-axis acid pairs, while the X-axis acid pair caused a reduction in the Ca(2+) dissociation rates.

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