Contribution of distinct structural elements to activation of calpain by Ca2+ ions.

TitleContribution of distinct structural elements to activation of calpain by Ca2+ ions.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2004
AuthorsAlexa, A., Z. Bozoky, A. Farkas, P. Tompa, and P. Friedrich
JournalJ Biol Chem
Date Published2004 May 7
KeywordsAmino Acid Sequence, Animals, Binding Sites, Calcium, Calpain, Catalysis, DNA Restriction Enzymes, Dose-Response Relationship, Drug, Drosophila, Drosophila Proteins, Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel, Escherichia coli, Gene Deletion, Genetic Vectors, Humans, Hydrolysis, Kinetics, Liposomes, Models, Molecular, Molecular Sequence Data, Mutagenesis, Site-Directed, Mutation, Phospholipids, Protein Binding, Protein Conformation, Protein Structure, Tertiary, Rats, Recombinant Proteins, Spectrometry, Fluorescence

The effect of Ca2+ in calpain activation is mediated via several binding sites in the enzyme molecule. To test the contribution of structural elements suspected to be part of this Ca2+ relay system, we made a site-directed mutagenesis study on calpains, measuring consequential changes in Ca2+ binding and Ca2+ sensitivity of enzyme activity. Evidence is provided for earlier suggestions that an acidic loop in domain III and the transducer region connecting domains III and IV are part of the Ca2+ relay system. Wild-type Drosophila Calpain B domain III binds two to three Ca2+ ions with a K(d) of 3400 microm. Phospholipids lower this value to 220 microm. Ca2+ binding decreases in parallel with the number of mutated loop residues. Deletion of the entire loop abolishes binding of the ion. The Ca2+ dependence of enzyme activity of various acidic-loop mutants of Calpain B and rat m-calpain suggests the importance of the loop in regulating activity. Most conspicuously, the replacement of two adjacent acidic residues in the N-terminal half of the loop evokes a dramatic decrease in the Ca2+ need of both enzymes, lowering half-maximal Ca2+ concentration from 8.6 to 1.3 mm for Calpain B and from 250 to 7 microm for m-calpain. Transducer-region mutations in m-calpain also facilitate Ca2+ activation with the most profound effect seen upon shortening the region by deletion mutagenesis. All of these data along with structural considerations suggest that the acidic loop and the transducer region form an interconnected, extended structural unit that has the capacity to integrate and transduce Ca2+-evoked conformational changes over a long distance. A schematic model of this "extended transducer" mechanism is presented.

Alternate JournalJ. Biol. Chem.
PubMed ID14976200