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J Biol Chem. 2004 Feb 27;279(9):7698-707. Epub 2003 Dec 11.

Structurally homologous binding of plant calmodulin isoforms to the calmodulin-binding domain of vacuolar calcium-ATPase.

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Structural Biology Research Group, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta T2N 1N4, Canada.


The discovery that plants contain multiple calmodulin (CaM) isoforms having variable sequence identity to mammalian CaM has sparked a flurry of new questions regarding the intracellular role of Ca(2+) regulation in plants. To date, the majority of research in this field has focused on the differential enzymatic regulation of various mammalian CaM-dependent enzymes by the different plant CaM isoforms. However, there is comparatively little information on the structural recognition of target enzymes found exclusively in plant cells. Here we have used a variety of spectroscopic techniques, including nuclear magnetic resonance, circular dichroism, and fluorescence spectroscopy, to study the interactions of the most conserved and most divergent CaM isoforms from soybean, SCaM-1, and SCaM-4, respectively, with a synthetic peptide derived from the CaM-binding domain of cauliflower vacuolar calcium-ATPase. Despite their sequence divergence, both SCaM-1 and SCaM-4 interact with the calcium-ATPase peptide in a similar calcium-dependent, stoichiometric manner, adopting an antiparallel binding orientation with an alpha-helical peptide. The single Trp residue is bound in a solvent-inaccessible hydrophobic pocket on the C-terminal domain of either protein. Thermodynamic analysis of these interactions using isothermal titration calorimetry demonstrates that the formation of each calcium-SCaM-calcium-ATPase peptide complex is driven by favorable binding enthalpy and is very similar to the binding of mammalian CaM to the CaM-binding domains of myosin light chain kinases and calmodulin-dependent protein kinase I.

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