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Arch Biochem Biophys. 2009 Feb;482(1-2):66-76. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2008 Dec 10.

mu-Calpain mediated cleavage of the Na+/Ca2+ exchanger in isolated mitochondria under A23187 induced Ca2+ stimulation.

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Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of Kalyani, Kalyani, West Bengal, India.


Treatment of bovine pulmonary artery smooth muscle mitochondria with the calcium ionophore, A23187 (0.2 microM) stimulates mu-calpain activity and subsequently cleaves Na(+)/Ca(2+) exchanger (NCX). Pretreatment of the A23187 treated mitochondria with the calpain inhibitors, calpeptin or MDL28170 or with Ca(2+) chelator, EGTA does not cleave NCX. Treatment of the mitochondria with A23187 increases Ca(2+) level in the mitochondria, which subsequently dissociates mu-calpain-calpastatin association leading to the activation of mu-calpain. Immunoblot study of the A23187 treated mitochondria with the NCX polyclonal antibody indicates the degradation of mitochondrial inner membrane NCX (110kDa) resulting in the doublet of approximately 54-56kDa NCX fragments. Moreover, in vitro cleavage of mitochondrial purified NCX by mitochondrial purified mu-calpain supports our conclusion. This cleavage of NCX may be interpreted as the main cause of Ca(2+) overload and could lay a key role in the activation of apoptotic process in pulmonary smooth muscle.

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