The calponin regulatory region is intrinsically unstructured: novel insight into actin-calponin and calmodulin-calponin interfaces using NMR spectroscopy.
ABSTRACT: Calponin is an actin- and calmodulin-binding protein believed to regulate the function of actin. Low-resolution studies based on proteolysis established that the recombinant calponin fragment 131-228 contained actin and calmodulin recognition sites but failed to precisely identify the actin-binding determinants. In this study, we used NMR spectroscopy to investigate the structure of this functionally important region of calponin and map its interaction with actin and calmodulin at amino-acid resolution. Our data indicates that the free calponin peptide is largely unstructured in solution, although four short amino-acid stretches corresponding to residues 140-146, 159-165, 189-195, and 199-205 display the propensity to form ?-helices. The presence of four sequential transient helices probably provides the conformational malleability needed for the promiscuous nature of this region of calponin. We identified all amino acids involved in actin binding and demonstrated for the first time, to our knowledge, that the N-terminal flanking region of Lys(137)-Tyr(144) is an integral part of the actin-binding site. We have also delineated the second actin-binding site to amino acids Thr(180)-Asp(190). Ca(2+)-calmodulin binding extends beyond the previously identified minimal sequence of 153-163 and includes most amino acids within the stretch 143-165. In addition, we found that calmodulin induces chemical shift perturbations of amino acids 188-190 demonstrating for the first time, to our knowledge, an effect of Ca(2+)-calmodulin on this region. The spatial relationship of the actin and calmodulin contacts as well as the transient ?-helical structures within the regulatory region of calponin provides a structural framework for understanding the Ca(2+)-dependent regulation of the actin-calponin interaction by calmodulin.
Project description:Titration of F-actin with calponin causes the formation of two types of complexes. One, at saturation, contains a lower ratio of calponin to actin (0.5:1) and is insoluble at physiological ionic strength. The another is soluble, with a higher ratio of calponin to actin (1:1). Electron microscopy revealed that the former complex consists of paracrystalline bundles of actin filaments, whereas the latter consists of separate filaments. Ca(2+)-calmodulin causes dissociation of bundles with simultaneous increase in the number of separate calponin-containing filaments. Further increase in the calmodulin concentration results in full release of calponin from actin filaments. In motility assays, calponin, when added together with ATP to actin filaments complexed with immobilized myosin, evoked a decrease in both the number and velocity of moving actin filaments. Addition of calponin to actin filaments before their binding to myosin resulted in a formation of actin filament bundles which were dissociated by ATP.
Project description:Calponin and caldesmon, constituents of smooth-muscle thin filaments, are considered to be potential modulators of smooth-muscle contraction. Both of them interact with actin and inhibit ATPase activity of smooth- and skeletal-muscle actomyosin. Here we show that calponin and caldesmon could bind simultaneously to F-actin when used in subsaturating amounts, whereas each one used in excess caused displacement of the other from the complex with F-actin. Calponin was more effective than caldesmon in this competition: when F-actin was saturated with calponin the binding of caldesmon was eliminated almost completely, whereas even at high molar excess of caldesmon one-third of calponin (relative to the saturation level) always remained bound to actin. The inhibitory effects of low concentrations of calponin and caldesmon on skeletal-muscle actomyosin ATPase were additive, whereas the maximum inhibition of the ATPase attained at high concentration of each of them was practically unaffected by the other one. These data suggest that calponin and caldesmon cannot operate on the same thin filaments. CA(2+)-calmodulin competed with actin for calponin binding, and at high molar excess dissociated the calponin-actin complex and reversed the calponin-induced inhibition of actomyosin ATPase activity.
Project description:Calponin, an actin- and Ca(2+)-calmodulin-binding protein characterized as an inhibitory factor of the smooth-muscle actomyosin activity, has also been shown to be present in some non-muscle cells. However, there is a controversy as to whether calponin is present or not in brain. Several laboratories indicate that this protein is absent in chicken or bovine brains, while Applegate et al. [Applegate, Feng, Green and Taubman (1994) J. Biol. Chem. 269, 10683-10690] have recently reported the identification of an mRNA specific for a 36 kDa non-muscle calponin analogue in homogenates of rat brains. For the first time we demonstrate, by Western blots and in situ immunofluorescence localization using monoclonal as well as affinity-purified polyclonal antibody to gizzard calponin, that a 36-37 kDa and a 35-36 kDa calponin-like proteins are expressed respectively in pig and rat brains and in rat cerebellar cultured cells. The acidic pI (5.2-5.4) of the rat brain protein revealed by isoelectric focusing is in good agreement with that of the protein coded for by the calponin isoform mRNA described by Applegate et al. and is different from that of the protein from chicken gizzard (pI 9.9). Brain calponin-like protein is different from two other Ca(2+)-calmodulin-binding proteins previously identified in brain, namely caldesmon and adducin, and from tropomyosin.
Project description:Calponin from chicken gizzard induced polymerization of actin in the presence of 10 mM KCl. Only 2 min after the addition of KCl in the presence of a 0.0625-0.25:1 molar ratio of calponin to actin, a Poisson-type length distribution (with an average length of approx. 0.7 micron) was observed with formed actin filaments. This result suggests that calponin-actin complexes served as nuclei for rapid elongation. Calponin caused a rapid polymerization of actin even in G-buffer (2 mM Tris/HCl, pH 8.0) which is usually used for depolymerization of actin filaments. Binding of calponin at a level of up to 1.25 mol per mol of actin was observed in the actin filaments formed in the presence of calponin at very low ionic strengths. When actin filaments were exposed to 3.3 mM KCl, by dilution with G-buffer, a rapid depolymerization occurred. Addition of calponin greatly retarded the depolymerization process and, in the presence of an equimolar ratio of calponin to actin, depolymerization hardly occurred. In the presence of calmodulin, this inhibitory effect on depolymerization was reversed by Ca2+, releasing calponin from actin filaments.
Project description:Calponin, a thin-filament protein of smooth muscle, has been implicated in the regulation of smooth-muscle contraction, since in vitro the isolated protein inhibits the actin-activated myosin MgATPase. This inhibitory effect, and the ability of calponin to bind to actin, is lost after its phosphorylation by protein kinase C or Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II [Winder & Walsh (1990) J. Biol. Chem. 265, 10148-10155]. If this phosphorylation reaction is of physiological significance, there must be a protein phosphatase in smooth muscle capable of dephosphorylating calponin and restoring its inhibitory effect on the actomyosin MgATPase. We demonstrate here the presence, in chicken gizzard smooth muscle, of a single major phosphatase activity directed towards calponin. This phosphatase was purified from the soluble fraction of chicken gizzard by (NH4)2SO4 fractionation and sequential chromatography on Sephacryl S-300, DEAE-Sephacel, omega-amino-octyl-agarose and thiophosphorylated myosin 20 kDa light-chain-Sepharose columns. The purified phosphatase contained three polypeptide chains of 60, 55 and 38 kDa which were shown to be identical with the subunits of SMP-I, a smooth-muscle phosphatase capable of dephosphorylating the isolated 20 kDa light chain of myosin but not intact myosin [Pato & Adelstein (1983) J. Biol. Chem. 258, 7047-7054]. Consistent with its identity with SMP-I, calponin phosphatase was classified as a type-2A protein phosphatase. Of several potential phosphoprotein substrates examined, calponin proved to be kinetically the best, suggesting that calponin may be a physiological substrate for this phosphatase. Finally, dephosphorylation of calponin which had been phosphorylated by protein kinase C restored completely its ability to inhibit the actin-activated MgATPase of smooth-muscle myosin. These observations support the hypothesis that calponin plays a role in regulating the contractile state of smooth muscle and that this function in turn is controlled by phosphorylation-dephosphorylation.
Project description:Calponin, a thin-filament-associated protein implicated in the regulation of smooth-muscle contraction, is phosphorylated in vitro by protein kinase C and Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II [Winder and Walsh (1990) J. Biol. Chem. 265, 10148-10155] and dephosphorylated by a type 2A protein phosphatase [Winder, Pato and Walsh (1992) Biochem. J. 286, 197-203]. Unphosphorylated calponin binds to actin and inhibits the actin-activated myosin MgATPase; these properties are lost on phosphorylation. Although both serine and threonine residues in calponin are phosphorylated, the major site of phosphorylation by either kinase is Ser-175. Calponin also undergoes phosphorylation when bound to actin in synthetic thin filaments, in a reconstituted actomyosin system, in washed myofibrils and in tissue extracts; this results in dissociation of calponin from actin. Tryptic phosphopeptide mapping indicates that the same sites are phosphorylated in the bound as in the isolated protein. Toad stomach calponin exists in at least three isoforms which differ in charge but exhibit the same molecular mass on SDS/PAGE. In a toad stomach extract, all three isoforms are phosphorylated by protein kinase C or Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II as shown by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (non-equilibrium pH-gradient gel electrophoresis and SDS/PAGE). Calponin phosphorylation also occurs in intact toad stomach smooth-muscle strips metabolically labelled with 32Pi and stimulated to contract with carbachol. These results support the hypothesis that calponin may be regulated in vivo by phosphorylation-dephosphorylation.
Project description:Interaction of five tryptic fragments of calmodulin with caldesmon and calponin was analysed by native gel electrophoresis. In the presence of Ca2+ intact calmodulin interacts with caldesmon and calponin with apparent Kd values equal to 0.23 and 1.3 microM respectively. The interaction was abolished in the absence of Ca2+. Two large tryptic fragments of calmodulin obtained in the presence of Ca2+ (TR1C, residues 1-77, and TR2C, residues 78-148) interact with caldesmon with apparent Kd values of 11.9 and 4.6 microM. Affinity of TR2C to calponin (Kd 3.8 microM) was comparable with that of native calmodulin and was much higher than the corresponding value for TR1C (Kd 41 microM). The short C-terminal tryptic peptide of calmodulin obtained in the presence of EGTA (TR3E, residues 107-148) interacts with caldesmon and calponin with Kd values of 23.9 and 12.1 microM, whereas the large N-terminal peptide TR1E (residues 1-106) interacts with both caldesmon and calponin with a very low affinity (Kd 60 microM). Thus although both N- and C-terminal domains of calmodulin are involved in the interaction with caldesmon and calponin, the C-terminal part of calmodulin (residues 78-148) is of special importance and has the highest contribution for caldesmon and calponin binding.
Project description:The actin-binding protein calponin has been previously implicated in actin cytoskeletal regulation and is thought to act as an actin stabilizer, but the mechanism of its function is poorly understood. To investigate this underlying physical mechanism, we studied an in vitro model system of cross-linked actin using bulk rheology. Networks with basic calponin exhibited a delayed onset of strain stiffening (10.0% without calponin, 14.9% with calponin) and were able to withstand a higher maximal strain before failing (35% without calponin, 56% with calponin). Using fluorescence microscopy to study the mechanics of single actin filaments, we found that calponin increased the flexibility of actin filaments, evident as a decrease in persistence length from 17.6 ?m without to 7.7 ?m with calponin. Our data are consistent with current models of affine strain behavior in semiflexible polymer networks, and suggest that calponin stabilization of actin networks can be explained purely by changes in single-filament mechanics. We propose a model in which calponin stabilizes actin networks against shear through a reduction of persistence length of individual filaments.
Project description:An interaction between extracellular regulated kinase 1 (ERK1) and calponin has previously been reported (Menice, Hulvershorn, Adam, Wang and Morgan (1997) J. Biol. Chem. 272 (40), 25157-25161) and has been suggested to reflect a function of calponin as a signalling molecule. We report in this study that calponin binds to both ERK1 and ERK2 under native conditions as well as in an overlay assay. Using chymotryptic fragments of calponin, the binding site of ERK on calponin was identified as the calponin homology (CH) domain, an N-terminal region of calponin found in other actin-binding proteins. ERK also bound, in a gel overlay assay, alpha-actinin, a protein with two tandem CH domains, as well as a 27 kDa thermolysin product of alpha-actinin containing the CH domains of alpha-actinin. The CH domain of calponin could compete with intact calponin or alpha-actinin for ERK binding. Titration of acrylodan-labelled calponin with ERK gave a K(a) of 6x10(6) M(-1) and titration of acrylodan-labelled calponin with a peptide from the alphaL16 helix of ERK gave a K(a) of 1x10(6) M(-1). Recombinant ERK was found to co-sediment with purified actin and induced a fluorescence change in pyrene-labelled F-actin (K(a)=5x10(6) M(-1)). The interaction of ERK with CH domains points to a new potential function for CH domains. The interaction of ERK with actin raises the possibility that actin may provide a scaffold for ERK signalling complexes in both muscle and non-muscle cells.
Project description:Calponin-related proteins are widely distributed among eukaryotes and involved in signaling and cytoskeletal regulation. Calponin-like (CLIK) repeat is an actin-binding motif found in the C-termini of vertebrate calponins. Although CLIK repeats stabilize actin filaments, other functions of these actin-binding motifs are unknown. The Caenorhabditis elegans unc-87 gene encodes actin-binding proteins with seven CLIK repeats. UNC-87 stabilizes actin filaments and is essential for maintenance of sarcomeric actin filaments in striated muscle. Here we show that two UNC-87 isoforms, UNC-87A and UNC-87B, are expressed in muscle and nonmuscle cells in a tissue-specific manner by two independent promoters and exhibit quantitatively different effects on both actin and myosin. Both UNC-87A and UNC-87B have seven CLIK repeats, but UNC-87A has an extra N-terminal extension of ~190 amino acids. Both UNC-87 isoforms bind to actin filaments and myosin to induce ATP-resistant actomyosin bundles and inhibit actomyosin motility. UNC-87A with an N-terminal extension binds to actin and myosin more strongly than UNC-87B. UNC-87B is associated with actin filaments in nonstriated muscle in the somatic gonad, and an unc-87 mutation causes its excessive contraction, which is dependent on myosin. These results strongly suggest that proteins with CLIK repeats function as a negative regulator of actomyosin contractility.