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Cell Commun Signal. 2011 Jan 18;9:2. doi: 10.1186/1478-811X-9-2.

Fraternal twins: Swiprosin-1/EFhd2 and Swiprosin-2/EFhd1, two homologous EF-hand containing calcium binding adaptor proteins with distinct functions.

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1
Division of Molecular Immunology, Department of Medicine III, Nikolaus Fiebiger Center, University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, 91054 Erlangen, Germany. dmielenz@molmed.uni-erlangen.de.

Abstract

Changes in the intracellular calcium concentration govern cytoskeletal rearrangement, mitosis, apoptosis, transcriptional regulation or synaptic transmission, thereby, regulating cellular effector and organ functions. Calcium binding proteins respond to changes in the intracellular calcium concentration with structural changes, triggering enzymatic activation and association with downstream proteins. One type of calcium binding proteins are EF-hand super family proteins. Here, we describe two recently discovered homologous EF-hand containing adaptor proteins, Swiprosin-1/EF-hand domain containing 2 (EFhd2) and Swiprosin-2/EF-hand domain containing 1 (EFhd1), which are related to allograft inflammatory factor-1 (AIF-1). For reasons of simplicity and concision we propose to name Swiprosin-1/EFhd2 and Swiprosin-2/EFhd1 from now on EFhd2 and EFhd1, according to their respective gene symbols. AIF-1 and Swiprosin-1/EFhd2 are already present in Bilateria, for instance in Drosophila melanogaster and Caenhorhabditis elegans. Swiprosin-2/EFhd1 arose later from gene duplication in the tetrapodal lineage. Secondary structure prediction of AIF-1 reveals disordered regions and one functional EF-hand. Swiprosin-1/EFhd2 and Swiprosin-2/EFhd1 exhibit a disordered region at the N-terminus, followed by two EF-hands and a coiled-coil domain. Whereas both proteins are similar in their predicted overall structure they differ in a non-homologous stretch of 60 amino acids just in front of the EF-hands. AIF-1 controls calcium-dependent cytoskeletal rearrangement in innate immune cells by means of its functional EF-hand. We propose that Swiprosin-1/EFhd2 as well is a cytoskeleton associated adaptor protein involved in immune and brain cell function. Pro-inflammatory conditions are likely to modulate expression and function of Swiprosin-1/EFhd2. Swiprosin-2/EFhd1, on the other hand, modulates apoptosis and differentiation of neuronal and muscle precursor cells, probably through an association with mitochondria. We suggest furthermore that Swiprosin-2/EFhd1 is part of a cellular response to oxidative stress, which could explain its pro-survival activity in neuronal, muscle and perhaps some malignant tissues.

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