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EMBO J. 1995 Jun 15;14(12):2772-83.

Targets of immunophilin-immunosuppressant complexes are distinct highly conserved regions of calcineurin A.

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Department of Genetics, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710, USA.


The immunosuppressive complexes cyclophilin A-cyclosporin A (CsA) and FKBP12-FK506 inhibit calcineurin, a heterodimeric Ca(2+)-calmodulin-dependent protein phosphatase that regulates signal transduction. We have characterized CsA- or FK506-resistant mutants isolated from a CsA-FK506-sensitive Saccharomyces cerevisiae strain. Three mutations that confer dominant CsA resistance are single amino acid substitutions (T350K, T350R, Y377F) in the calcineurin A catalytic subunit CMP1. One mutation that confers dominant FK506 resistance alters a single residue (W430C) in the calcineurin A catalytic subunit CMP2. In vitro and in vivo, the CsA-resistant calcineurin mutants bind FKBP12-FK506 but have reduced affinity for cyclophilin A-CsA. When introduced into the CMP1 subunit, the FK506 resistance mutation (W388C) blocks binding by FKBP12-FK506, but not by cyclophilin A-CsA. Co-expression of CsA-resistant and FK506-resistant calcineurin A subunits confers resistance to CsA and to FK506 but not to CsA plus FK506. Double mutant calcineurin A subunits (Y377F, W388C CMP1 and Y419F, W430C CMP2) confer resistance to CsA, to FK506 and to CsA plus FK506. These studies identify cyclophilin A-CsA and FKBP12-FK506 binding targets as distinct, highly conserved regions of calcineurin A that overlap the binding domain for the calcineurin B regulatory subunit.

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