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Cell. 1998 Mar 20;92(6):809-18.

Calmodulin regulates L-selectin adhesion molecule expression and function through a protease-dependent mechanism.

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Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Department of Immunological Diseases, Ridgefield, Connecticut 06877, USA.


Expression of the L-selectin adhesion molecule is rapidly down-regulated upon cell activation through proteolysis at a membrane-proximal site. Here we demonstrate that calmodulin, an intracellular calcium regulatory protein, specifically coprecipitates with L-selectin through a direct association with the cytoplasmic domain of L-selectin. Furthermore, calmodulin inhibitors disrupt L-selectin-dependent adhesion by inducing proteolytic release of L-selectin from the cell surface. The effects of the calmodulin inhibitors on L-selectin expression and function can be prevented by cotreatment with a hydroxamic acid-based metalloprotease inhibitor. Our results suggest a novel role for calmodulin in regulating the expression and function of an integral membrane protein through a protease-dependent mechanism. These findings may have broader implications for other cell surface proteins that also undergo regulated proteolysis.

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