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Biochemistry. 1995 Jul 4;34(26):8330-40.

Calcium binding to the regulatory N-domain of skeletal muscle troponin C occurs in a stepwise manner.

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Department of Biochemistry, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada.


Ca2+ binding to a recombinant regulatory N-domain (residues 1-90) of chicken troponin C (NTnC) has been investigated with the use of heteronuclear multidimensional NMR spectroscopy. The protein has been cloned in pET3a vector and expressed in minimal media in Escherichia coli to allow uniform 15N and 13C labeling. The NMR spectra have been resolved and completely assigned [Gagné et al. (1994) Protein Sci. 3, 1961-1974]. Ca2+ titration monitored by 2D (1H, 15N)-HMQC NMR spectral changes revealed that Ca2+ binding to sites I and II of NTnC is a stepwise process and that chemical shift changes occur throughout the N-domain upon the binding of each Ca2+. The Ca2+ dissociation constants for the binding of the first and second Ca2+ were determined to be 0.8 microM < or = Kd1 < or = 3 microM and 5 microM < or = Kd2 < or = 23 microM, respectively. This mechanism is believed to represent that of the N-domain in intact TnC since we have shown earlier that the properties of the N-domain (1-90) were identical to those of the N-domain in intact TnC [Li et al. (1994) Biochemistry 33, 917-925]. In contrast, however, our previous Ca2+ fluorescence and far-UV CD studies on F29W NTnC and F29W TnC indicated cooperative Ca2+ binding to sites I/II and no detectable differences in their affinities. To rationalize these observations, a direct comparison was made of the Ca2+ titration of NTnC and F29W NTnC as monitored by far-UV CD spectroscopy. Unlike F29W NTnC, NTnC gave a biphasic curve with binding constants in reasonable agreement with the NMR data. Although the far-UV CD spectra of NTnC and the F29W NTnC domain were the same in the absence of Ca2+, the Ca(2+)-induced negative ellipticity increase for NTnC is significantly smaller than for F29W NTnC. These observations indicate that the F29W mutation has perturbed the Ca2+ binding properties of the N-domain and its CD spectroscopic properties in the Ca(2+)-saturated state.

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