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Biomolecules. 2020 Jan 21;10(2). pii: E164. doi: 10.3390/biom10020164.

Membrane Binding of Neuronal Calcium Sensor-1: Highly Specific Interaction with Phosphatidylinositol-3-Phosphate.

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Belozersky Institute of Physico-Chemical Biology, Lomonosov Moscow State University, 119992 Moscow, Russia.
Institute for Biological Instrumentation of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Pushchino, 142290 Moscow Region, Russia.
Faculty of Bioengineering and Bioinformatics, Lomonosov Moscow State University, 119992 Moscow, Russia.
Shemyakin and Ovchinnikov Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry of the Russian Academy of Sciences, 117997 Moscow, Russia.
Institute of Molecular Medicine, Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University, 119991 Moscow, Russia.
Branch of Shemyakin and Ovchinnikov Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Pushchino, Pushchino, 142290 Moscow Region, Russia.


Neuronal calcium sensors are a family of N-terminally myristoylated membrane-binding proteins possessing a different intracellular localization and thereby targeting unique signaling partner(s). Apart from the myristoyl group, the membrane attachment of these proteins may be modulated by their N-terminal positively charged residues responsible for specific recognition of the membrane components. Here, we examined the interaction of neuronal calcium sensor-1 (NCS-1) with natural membranes of different lipid composition as well as individual phospholipids in form of multilamellar liposomes or immobilized monolayers and characterized the role of myristoyl group and N-terminal lysine residues in membrane binding and phospholipid preference of the protein. NCS-1 binds to photoreceptor and hippocampal membranes in a Ca2+-independent manner and the binding is attenuated in the absence of myristoyl group. Meanwhile, the interaction with photoreceptor membranes is less dependent on myristoylation and more sensitive to replacement of K3, K7, and/or K9 of NCS-1 by glutamic acid, reflecting affinity of the protein to negatively charged phospholipids. Consistently, among the major phospholipids, NCS-1 preferentially interacts with phosphatidylserine and phosphatidylinositol with micromolar affinity and the interaction with the former is inhibited upon mutating of N-terminal lysines of the protein. Remarkably, NCS-1 demonstrates pronounced specific binding to phosphoinositides with high preference for phosphatidylinositol-3-phosphate. The binding does not depend on myristoylation and, unexpectedly, is not sensitive to the charge inversion mutations. Instead, phosphatidylinositol-3-phosphate can be recognized by a specific site located in the N-terminal region of the protein. These data provide important novel insights into the general mechanism of membrane binding of NCS-1 and its targeting to specific phospholipids ensuring involvement of the protein in phosphoinositide-regulated signaling pathways.


N-terminal myristoylation; NCS-1; PI3P; membrane binding; myristoyl group; neuronal calcium sensor-1; neuronal calcium sensors; phosphatidylinositol-3-phosphate; phosphoinositides; phospholipid-binding proteins

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