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Plant Physiol. 1984 Jul;75(3):788-95.

Structural characterization of a higher plant calmodulin : spinacia oleracea.

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Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Physiology, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee 37232.


Calmodulin is a eukaryotic calcium binding protein which has several calcium-dependent in vitro activities. Presented in this report is a structural characterization of calmodulin from spinach leaves (Spinacia oleracea). Spinach calmodulin may be representative of higher plant calmodulins in general since calmodulin from the monocotyledon barley (Hordeum vulgare) is indistinguishable by a variety of physical, chemical, and functional criteria (Schleicher, Lukas, Watterson 1983 Plant Physiol 73: 666-670). Spinach calmodulin is homologous to bovine brain calmodulin with only 13 identified amino acid sequence differences, excluding a blocked NH(2)-terminal tripeptide whose sequence has not been elucidated. Two extended regions of sequence identity are in the NH(2)-terminal half of the molecule, while nine of the 13 identified differences are in the COOH-terminal half of the molecule. Two of the changes, a cysteine at residue 26 and a glutamine at residue 96, require a minimum of two base changes in the nucleotide codons. Both of these changes occur in the proposed calcium binding loops of the molecule. Five additional amino acid differences found in spinach calmodulin had not been observed previously in a calmodulin. As described in an accompanying report (Roberts, Burgess, Watterson 1984 Plant Physiol 75: 796-798), these limited number of amino acid sequence variations appear to result in differential effects on the activation of calmodulin-dependent enzymes by plant and vertebrate calmodulins.

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