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Biochemistry. 2004 Nov 2;43(43):13796-804.

Factors that determine Ca2+ sensitivity of photoreceptor guanylyl cyclase. Kinetic analysis of the interaction between the Ca2+-bound and the Ca2+-free guanylyl cyclase activating proteins (GCAPs) and recombinant photoreceptor guanylyl cyclase 1 (RetGC-1).

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The Hafter Research Laboratory, Pennsylvania College of Optometry, Elkins Park, Pennsylvania 19027-1598, USA.


We explored the possibility that, in the regulation of an effector enzyme by a Ca(2+)-sensor protein, the actual Ca(2+) sensitivity of the effector enzyme can be determined not only by the affinity of the Ca(2+)-sensor protein for Ca(2+) but also by the relative affinities of its Ca(2+)-bound versus Ca(2+)-free form for the effector enzyme. As a model, we used Ca(2+)-sensitive activation of photoreceptor guanylyl cyclase (RetGC-1) by guanylyl cyclase activating proteins (GCAPs). A substitution Arg(838)Ser in RetGC-1 found in human patients with cone-rod dystrophy is known to shift the Ca(2+) sensitivity of RetGC-1 regulation by GCAP-1 to a higher Ca(2+) range. We find that at physiological concentrations of Mg(2+) this mutation increases the free Ca(2+) concentration required for half-maximal inhibition of the cyclase from 0.27 to 0.61 microM. Similar to rod outer segment cyclase, Ca(2+) sensitivity of recombinant RetGC-1 is strongly affected by Mg(2+), but the shift in Ca(2+) sensitivity for the R838S mutant relative to the wild type is Mg(2+)-independent. We determined the apparent affinity of the wild-type and the mutant RetGC-1 for both Ca(2+)-bound and Ca(2+)-free GCAP-1 and found that the net shift in Ca(2+) sensitivity of the R838S RetGC-1 observed in vitro can arise predominantly from the change in the affinity of the mutant cyclase for the Ca(2+)-free versus Ca(2+)-loaded GCAP-1. Our findings confirm that the dynamic range for RetGC regulation by Ca(2+)/GCAP is determined by both the affinity of GCAP for Ca(2+) and relative affinities of the effector enzyme for the Ca(2+)-free versus Ca(2+)-loaded GCAP.

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