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Structure. 2001 Mar 7;9(3):185-95.

Dynamics of the transition between open and closed conformations in a calmodulin C-terminal domain mutant.

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1
Physical Chemistry 2, Lund University, P.O. Box 124, SE-221 00 Lund, Sweden.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Calmodulin is a ubiquitous Ca(2+)-activated regulator of cellular processes in eukaryotes. The structures of the Ca(2+)-free (apo) and Ca(2+)-loaded states of calmodulin have revealed that Ca(2+) binding is associated with a transition in each of the two domains from a closed to an open conformation that is central to target recognition. However, little is known about the dynamics of this conformational switch.

RESULTS:

The dynamics of the transition between closed and open conformations in the Ca(2+)-loaded state of the E140Q mutant of the calmodulin C-terminal domain were characterized under equilibrium conditions. The exchange time constants (tau(ex)) measured for 42 residues range from 13 to 46 micros, with a mean of 21 +/- 3 micros. The results suggest that tau(ex) varies significantly between different groups of residues and that residues with similar values exhibit spatial proximity in the structures of apo and/or Ca(2+)-saturated wild-type calmodulin. Using data for one of these groups, we obtained an open population of p(o) = 0.50 +/- 0.17 and a closed --> open rate constant of k(o) = x 10(4) s(-1).

CONCLUSIONS:

The conformational exchange dynamics appear to involve locally collective processes that depend on the structural topology. Comparisons with previous results indicate that similar processes occur in the wild-type protein. The measured rates match the estimated Ca(2+) off rate, suggesting that Ca(2+) release may be gated by the conformational dynamics. Structural interpretation of estimated chemical shifts suggests a mechanism for ion release.

PMID:
11286885
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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