A 1.3-A structure of zinc-bound N-terminal domain of calmodulin elucidates potential early ion-binding step.
ABSTRACT: Calmodulin (CaM) is a 16.8-kDa calcium-binding protein involved in calcium-signal transduction. It is the canonical member of the EF-hand family of proteins, which are characterized by a helix-loop-helix calcium-binding motif. CaM is composed of N- and C-terminal globular domains (N-CaM and C-CaM), and within each domain there are two EF-hand motifs. Upon binding calcium, CaM undergoes a significant, global conformational change involving reorientation of the four helix bundles in each of its two domains. This conformational change upon ion binding is a key component of the signal transduction and regulatory roles of CaM, yet the precise nature of this transition is still unclear. Here, we present a 1.3-A structure of zinc-bound N-terminal calmodulin (N-CaM) solved by single-wavelength anomalous diffraction phasing of a selenomethionyl N-CaM. Our zinc-bound N-CaM structure differs from previously reported CaM structures and resembles calcium-free apo-calmodulin (apo-CaM), despite the zinc binding to both EF-hand motifs. Structural comparison with calcium-free apo-CaM, calcium-loaded CaM, and a cross-linked calcium-loaded CaM suggests that our zinc-bound N-CaM reveals an intermediate step in the initiation of metal ion binding at the first EF-hand motif. Our data also suggest that metal ion coordination by two key residues in the first metal-binding site represents an initial step in the conformational transition induced by metal binding. This is followed by reordering of the N-terminal region of the helix exiting from this first binding loop. This conformational switch should be incorporated into models of either stepwise conformational transition or flexible, dynamic energetic state sampling-based transition.
Project description:Calmodulin (CaM) is a Ca(2+)-binding protein that functions as a ubiquitous Ca(2+)-signaling molecule, through conformational changes from the "closed" apo conformation to the "open" Ca(2+)-bound conformation. Mg(2+) also binds to CaM and stabilizes its folded structure, but the NMR signals are broadened by slow conformational fluctuations. Using the E104D/E140D mutant, designed to decrease the signal broadening in the presence of Mg(2+) with minimal perturbations of the overall structure, the solution structure of the Mg(2+)-bound form of the CaM C-terminal domain was determined by multidimensional NMR spectroscopy. The Mg(2+)-induced conformational change mainly occurred in EF hand IV, while EF-hand III retained the apo structure. The helix G and helix H sides of the binding sequence undergo conformational changes needed for the Mg(2+) coordination, and thus the helices tilt slightly. The aromatic rings on helix H move to form a new cluster of aromatic rings in the hydrophobic core. Although helix G tilts slightly to the open orientation, the closed conformation is maintained. The fact that the Mg(2+)-induced conformational changes in EF-hand IV and the hydrophobic core are also seen upon Ca(2+) binding suggests that the Ca(2+)-induced conformational changes can be divided into two categories, those specific to Ca(2+) and those common to Ca(2+) and Mg(2+).
Project description:Calcium (Ca?²) is a ubiquitous messenger in eukaryotes including Caenorhabditis. Ca?²-mediated signalling processes are usually carried out through well characterized proteins like calmodulin (CaM) and other Ca?² binding proteins (CaBP). These proteins interact with different targets and activate it by bringing conformational changes. Majority of the EF-hand proteins in Caenorhabditis contain Ca?² binding motifs. Here, we have performed homology modelling of CaM-like proteins using the crystal structure of Drosophila melanogaster CaM as a template. Molecular docking was applied to explore the binding mechanism of CaM-like proteins and IQ1 motif which is a ?25 residues and conform to the consensus sequence (I, L, V)QXXXRXXXX(R,K) to serve as a binding site for different EF hand proteins. We made an attempt to identify all the EF-hand (a helix-loop-helix structure characterized by a 12 residues loop sequence involved in metal coordination) containing proteins and their Ca?² binding affinity in Caenorhabditis by analysing the complete genome sequence. Docking studies revealed that F165, F169, L29, E33, F44, L57, M61, M96, M97, M108, G65, V115, F93, N104, E144 of CaM-like protein is involved in the interaction with IQ1 motif. A maximum of 170 EF-hand proteins and 39 non-EF-hand proteins with Ca?²/metal binding motif were identified. Diverse proteins including enzyme, transcription, translation and large number of unknown proteins have one or more putative EF-hands. Phylogenetic analysis revealed seven major classes/groups that contain some families of proteins. Various domains that we identified in the EF-hand proteins (uncharacterized) would help in elucidating their functions. It is the first report of its kind where calcium binding loop sequences of EF-hand proteins were analyzed to decipher their calcium affinities. Variation in Ca?²-binding affinity of EF-hand CaBP could be further used to study the behaviour of these proteins. Our analyses postulated that Ca?² is likely to be key player in Caenorhabditis cell signalling.
Project description:Calmodulin, a ubiquitous eukaryotic calcium sensor responsible for the regulation of many fundamental cellular processes, is a highly flexible protein and exhibits an unusually wide range of conformations. Furthermore, CaM is known to interact with more than 300 cellular targets. Molecular dynamics (MD) simulation trajectories suggest that EF-hand loops show different magnitudes of flexibility. Therefore, the four EF-hand motifs have different affinities for Ca2+ ions, which enables CaM to function on wide range of Ca2+ ion concentrations. EF-hand loops are 2-3 times more flexible in apo CaM whereas least flexible in Ca2+/CaM-IQ motif complexes. We report a unique intermediate conformation of Ca2+/CaM while transitioning from extended to compact form. We also report the complex formation process between Ca2+/CaM and IQ CaM-binding motifs. Our results showed how IQ motif recognise its binding site on the CaM and how CaM transforms from extended to compact form upon binding to IQ motif.
Project description:Calmodulin (CaM), a member of the EF-hand superfamily, regulates many aspects of cell function by responding specifically to micromolar concentrations of Ca(2+) in the presence of an ~1000-fold higher concentration of cellular Mg(2+). To explain the structural basis of metal ion binding specificity, we have determined the X-ray structures of the N-terminal domain of calmodulin (N-CaM) in complexes with Mg(2+), Mn(2+), and Zn(2+). In contrast to Ca(2+), which induces domain opening in CaM, octahedrally coordinated Mg(2+) and Mn(2+) stabilize the closed-domain, apo-like conformation, while tetrahedrally coordinated Zn(2+) ions bind at the protein surface and do not compete with Ca(2+). The relative positions of bound Mg(2+) and Mn(2+) within the EF-hand loops are similar to those of Ca(2+); however, the Glu side chain at position 12 of the loop, whose bidentate interaction with Ca(2+) is critical for domain opening, does not bind directly to either Mn(2+) or Mg(2+), and the vacant ligand position is occupied by a water molecule. We conclude that this critical interaction is prevented by specific stereochemical constraints imposed on the ligands by the EF-hand ?-scaffold. The structures suggest that Mg(2+) contributes to the switching off of calmodulin activity and possibly other EF-hand proteins at the resting levels of Ca(2+). The Mg(2+)-bound N-CaM structure also provides a unique view of a transiently bound hydrated metal ion and suggests a role for the hydration water in the metal-induced conformational change.
Project description:Edema factor (EF), a key anthrax exotoxin, has an anthrax protective antigen-binding domain (PABD) and a calmodulin (CaM)-activated adenylyl cyclase domain. Here, we report the crystal structures of CaM-bound EF, revealing the architecture of EF PABD. CaM has N- and C-terminal domains and each domain can bind two calcium ions. Calcium binding induces the conformational change of CaM from closed to open. Structures of the EF-CaM complex show how EF locks the N-terminal domain of CaM into a closed conformation regardless of its calcium-loading state. This represents a mechanism of how CaM effector alters the calcium affinity of CaM and uncouples the conformational change of CaM from calcium loading. Furthermore, structures of EF-CaM complexed with nucleotides show that EF uses two-metal-ion catalysis, a prevalent mechanism in DNA and RNA polymerases. A histidine (H351) further facilitates the catalysis of EF by activating a water to deprotonate 3'OH of ATP. Mammalian adenylyl cyclases share no structural similarity with EF and they also use two-metal-ion catalysis, suggesting the catalytic mechanism-driven convergent evolution of two structurally diverse adenylyl cyclases.
Project description:Voltage-gated sodium (NaV) and calcium channels (CaV) form targets for calmodulin (CaM), which affects channel inactivation properties. A major interaction site for CaM resides in the C-terminal (CT) region, consisting of an IQ domain downstream of an EF-hand domain. We present a crystal structure of fully Ca2+-occupied CaM, bound to the CT of NaV1.5. The structure shows that the C-terminal lobe binds to a site ?90° rotated relative to a previous site reported for an apoCaM complex with the NaV1.5 CT and for ternary complexes containing fibroblast growth factor homologous factors (FHF). We show that the binding of FHFs forces the EF-hand domain in a conformation that does not allow binding of the Ca2+-occupied C-lobe of CaM. These observations highlight the central role of the EF-hand domain in modulating the binding mode of CaM. The binding sites for Ca2+-free and Ca2+-occupied CaM contain targets for mutations linked to long-QT syndrome, a type of inherited arrhythmia. The related NaV1.4 channel has been shown to undergo Ca2+-dependent inactivation (CDI) akin to CaVs. We present a crystal structure of Ca2+/CaM bound to the NaV1.4 IQ domain, which shows a binding mode that would clash with the EF-hand domain. We postulate the relative reorientation of the EF-hand domain and the IQ domain as a possible conformational switch that underlies CDI.
Project description:The function of the human cardiac voltage-gated sodium channel Na(V)1.5 (hH1) is regulated in part by binding of calcium to an EF hand in the C-terminal cytoplasmic domain. hH1 is also regulated via an extrinsic calcium-sensing pathway mediated by calmodulin (CaM) via binding to an IQ motif immediately adjacent to the EF-hand domain. The intrinsic EF-hand domain is shown here to interact with the IQ motif, which controls calcium affinity. Remarkably, mutation of the IQ residues has only a minor effect on CaM affinity but drastically reduces calcium affinity of the EF-hand domain, whereas the Brugada mutation A1924T significantly reduces CaM affinity but has no effect on calcium affinity of the EF-hand domain. Moreover, the differences in the biochemical effects of the mutations directly correlate with contrasting effects on channel electrophysiology. A comprehensive model is proposed in which the hH1 IQ motif serves as a molecular switch, coupling the intrinsic and extrinsic calcium sensors.
Project description:Calmodulin (CaM) is a remarkably flexible protein which can bind multiple targets in response to changes in intracellular calcium concentration. It contains four calcium-binding sites, arranged in two globular domains. The calcium affinity of CaM N-terminal domain (N-CaM) is dramatically reduced when the complex with the edema factor (EF) of Bacillus anthracis is formed. Here, an atomic explanation for this reduced affinity is proposed through molecular dynamics simulations and free energy perturbation calculations of the EF-CaM complex starting from different crystallographic models. The simulations show that electrostatic interactions between CaM and EF disfavor the opening of N-CaM domains usually induced by calcium binding. Relative calcium affinities of the N-CaM binding sites are probed by free energy perturbation, and dissociation probabilities are evaluated with locally enhanced sampling simulations. We show that EF impairs calcium binding on N-CaM through a direct conformational restraint on Site 1, by an indirect destabilization of Site 2, and by reducing the cooperativity between the two sites.
Project description:Lactoferrin (Lf) is an 80 kDa, iron (Fe(3+))-binding immunoregulatory glycoprotein secreted into most exocrine fluids, found in high concentrations in colostrum and milk, and released from neutrophil secondary granules at sites of infection and inflammation. In a number of cell types, Lf is internalized through receptor-mediated endocytosis and targeted to the nucleus where it has been demonstrated to act as a transcriptional trans-activator. Here we characterize human Lf's interaction with calmodulin (CaM), a ubiquitous, 17 kDa regulatory calcium (Ca(2+))-binding protein localized in the cytoplasm and nucleus of activated cells. Due to the size of this intermolecular complex (?100 kDa), TROSY-based NMR techniques were employed to structurally characterize Ca(2+)-CaM when bound to intact apo-Lf. Both CaM's backbone amides and the ?-methyl group of key methionine residues were used as probes in chemical shift perturbation and cross-saturation experiments to define the binding interface of apo-Lf on Ca(2+)-CaM. Unlike the collapsed conformation through which Ca(2+)-CaM binds the CaM-binding domains of its classical targets, Ca(2+)-CaM assumes an extended structure when bound to apo-Lf. Apo-Lf appears to interact predominantly with the C-terminal lobe of Ca(2+)-CaM, enabling the N-terminal lobe to potentially bind another target. Our use of intact apo-Lf has made possible the identification of a secondary interaction interface, removed from CaM's primary binding domain. Secondary interfaces play a key role in the target's response to CaM binding, highlighting the importance of studying intact complexes. This solution-based approach can be applied to study other regulatory calcium-binding EF-hand proteins in intact intermolecular complexes.
Project description:The flexibility in the structure of calmodulin (CaM) allows its binding to over 300 target proteins in the cell. To investigate the structure-function relationship of CaM, we combined methods of computer simulation and experiments based on circular dichroism (CD) to investigate the structural characteristics of CaM that influence its target recognition in crowded cell-like conditions. We developed a unique multiscale solution of charges computed from quantum chemistry, together with protein reconstruction, coarse-grained molecular simulations, and statistical physics, to represent the charge distribution in the transition from apoCaM to holoCaM upon calcium binding. Computationally, we found that increased levels of macromolecular crowding, in addition to calcium binding and ionic strength typical of that found inside cells, can impact the conformation, helicity and the EF hand orientation of CaM. Because EF hand orientation impacts the affinity of calcium binding and the specificity of CaM's target selection, our results may provide unique insight into understanding the promiscuous behavior of calmodulin in target selection inside cells.