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Biochemistry. 1994 Jun 7;33(22):6859-66.

Dual calcium ion regulation of calcineurin by calmodulin and calcineurin B.

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Laboratory of Biochemistry, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892.

Erratum in

  • Biochemistry 1995 Dec 5;34(48):15880.


The dependence of calcineurin on Ca2+ for activity is the result of the concerted action of calmodulin, which increases the turnover rate of the enzyme and modulates its response to Ca2+ transients, and of calcineurin B, which decreases the Km of the enzyme for its substrate. The calmodulin-stimulated protein phosphatase calcineurin is under the control of two functionally distinct, but structurally similar, Ca(2+)-regulated proteins, calmodulin and calcineurin B. The Ca(2+)-dependent activation of calcineurin by calmodulin is highly cooperative (Hill coefficient of 2.8-3), and the concentration of Ca2+ needed for half-maximum activation decreases from 1.3 to 0.6 microM when the concentration of calmodulin is increased from 0.03 to 20 microM. Conversely, the affinity of calmodulin for Ca2+ is increased by more than 2 orders of magnitude in the presence of a peptide corresponding to the calmodulin-binding domain of calcineurin A. Calmodulin increases the Vmax without changing the Km value of the enzyme. Unlike calmodulin, calcineurin B interacts with calcineurin A in the presence of EGTA, and Ca2+ binding to calcineurin B stimulates native calcineurin up to only 10% of the maximum activity achieved with calmodulin. The Ca(2+)-dependent activation of a proteolyzed derivative of calcineurin, calcineurin-45, which lacks the regulatory domain, was used to study the role of calcineurin B. Removal of the regulatory domain increases the Vmax of calcineurin, as does binding of calmodulin, but it also increases the affinity of calcineurin for Ca2+. Ca2+ binding to calcineurin B decreases the Km value of calcineurin without changing its Vmax.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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