A novel mechanism for regulation of calmodulin signaling by RC3

Tara Rachel Gaertner, The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston


RC3, also known as neurogranin, is a small neuronal IQ domain protein whose only known function is to bind calmodulin (CaM). The hypothesis tested in this work was that RC3 alters the dynamics of the interaction of Ca 2+-CaM with CaM-kinase II, so that there is less CaM-kinase II activation for a given Ca2+ stimulus. To evaluate this hypothesis, we investigated the affinity and kinetics of the interactions of CaM with Ca 2+, RC3 and CaM-kinase II. We quantitated the interaction of the four CaM-kinase II isoforms with CaM and found that the KD for binding of CaM to CaM-kinase II ranged from 7 nM to 60 nM. Using stopped-flow fluorimetry, we determined the kinetics of the interaction of Ca2+-CaM with αCaM-kinase II, and found that the association rate constant is 2.1 × 10 M −1s−1 and the dissociation rate constant is 1.6 s−1. We investigated the effects of RC3 and αCaM-kinase II on the affinity of CaM for Ca2+ and found that both proteins alter the rate of dissociation of Ca2+ from CaM. RC3 increases the rate of dissociation of Ca2+ from the C-terminal binding sites of CaM from 9 s−1 to ∼500 s−1 , while αCaM-kinase II causes a decrease in the rate of dissociation from all four Ca2+ binding sites. Measurement of the rate of dissociation of Ca2+ from CaM in the presence of both RC3 and αCaM-kinase II revealed a role for RC3 in accelerating the dissociation of the Ca 2+-CaM-αCaM-kinase II complex at the end of a Ca2+ signal. We characterized the interaction of RC3 with apo-CaM and Ca 2+-CaM and found that the KD for both of these interactions is about 1 μM. We also directly tested whether RC3 slowed the dynamics of the binding of CaM to αCaM-kinase II and found that RC3 had no effect for large changes in Ca2+, and a modest effect for small changes in Ca2+ levels. Our overall conclusion is that the ability of RC3 to alter the interaction of Ca2+ with CaM allows RC3 to alter the dynamics of interaction of CaM with Ca2+-dependent targets such as CaM-kinase II.

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Recommended Citation

Gaertner, Tara Rachel, "A novel mechanism for regulation of calmodulin signaling by RC3" (2004). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI3131480.