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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1998 Sep 1;95(18):10890-5.

Characterization of a calmodulin kinase II inhibitor protein in brain.

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  • 1Vollum Institute, Oregon Health Sciences University, 3181 SW Sam Jackson Park Road, Portland, OR 97201, USA.


Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaM-KII) regulates numerous physiological functions, including neuronal synaptic plasticity through the phosphorylation of alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid-type glutamate receptors. To identify proteins that may interact with and modulate CaM-KII function, a yeast two-hybrid screen was performed by using a rat brain cDNA library. This screen identified a unique clone of 1.4 kb, which encoded a 79-aa brain-specific protein that bound the catalytic domain of CaM-KII alpha and beta and potently inhibited kinase activity with an IC50 of 50 nM. The inhibitory protein (CaM-KIIN), and a 28-residue peptide derived from it (CaM-KIINtide), was highly selective for inhibition of CaM-KII with little effect on CaM-KI, CaM-KIV, CaM-KK, protein kinase A, or protein kinase C. CaM-KIIN interacted only with activated CaM-KII (i. e., in the presence of Ca2+/CaM or after autophosphorylation) by using glutathione S-transferase/CaM-KIIN precipitations as well as coimmunoprecipitations from rat brain extracts or from HEK293 cells cotransfected with both constructs. Colocalization of CaM-KIIN with activated CaM-KII was demonstrated in COS-7 cells transfected with green fluorescent protein fused to CaM-KIIN. In COS-7 cells phosphorylation of transfected alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid-type glutamate receptors by CaM-KII, but not by protein kinase C, was blocked upon cotransfection with CaM-KIIN. These results characterize a potent and specific cellular inhibitor of CaM-KII that may have an important role in the physiological regulation of this key protein kinase.

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