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J Mol Biol. 2004 Feb 27;336(4):957-70.

Caldendrin but not calmodulin binds to light chain 3 of MAP1A/B: an association with the microtubule cytoskeleton highlighting exclusive binding partners for neuronal Ca(2+)-sensor proteins.

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AG Molecular Mechanisms of Plasticity, Department of Neurochemistry/Molecular Biology, Leibniz Institute for Neurobiology, Brenneckestr. 6 39118 Magdeburg, Germany.


Caldendrin is a neuronal Ca(2+)-sensor protein (NCS), which represents the closest homologue of calmodulin (CaM) in nerve cells. It is tightly associated with the somato-dendritic cytoskeleton of neurons and highly enriched in the postsynaptic cytomatrix. Here, we report that caldendrin specifically associates with the microtubule cytoskeleton via an interaction with light chain 3 (LC3), a microtubule component with sequence homology to the GABAA receptor-associated protein (GABARAP), which is, like LC3, probably involved in cellular transport processes. Interestingly, two binding sites exist in LC3 for caldendrin from which only one exhibits a strict Ca(2+)-dependency for the interaction to take place but both require the presence of the first two EF-hands of caldendrin. CaM, however, is not capable of binding to LC3 at both sites despite its high degree of primary structure similarity with caldendrin. Computer modelling suggests that this might be explained by an altered distribution of surface charges at the first two EF-hands rendering each molecule, in principle, specific for a discrete set of binding partners. These findings provide molecular evidence that NCS can transduce signals to a specific target interaction irrespective of Ca(2+)-concentrations and CaM-levels.

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