Inactivation and self-association of CaM kinase: Effects of ATP, substrate binding domains, and isozymic forms

Andy Hudmon, The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston


Calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaM kinase) is a multifunctional Ser/Thr protein kinase, that is highly enriched in brain and is involved in regulating many aspects of neuronal function. We observed that forebrain CaM kinase from crude homogenates, cytosolic fractions and purified preparations inactivates and translocates into the particulate fraction following autophosphorylation. Using purified forebrain CaM kinase as well as recombinant $\alpha$ isozyme, we determined that the formation of particulate enzyme was due to enzyme self-association. The conditions of autophosphorylation determine whether enzyme self-association and/or inactivation will occur. Self-association of CaM kinase is sensitive to pH, ATP concentration, and enzyme autophosphorylation. This process is prevented by saturating concentrations of ATP. However, in limiting ATP, pH is the dominant factor, and enzyme self-association occurs at pH values $\rm{<}7.0.$ Site-specific mutants were produced by substituting Ala for Thr286, Thr253, or Thr305,306 to determine whether these sites of autophosphorylation affect enzyme inactivation and self-association. The only mutation that influenced these processes was Ala286, which removed the protective effect afforded by autophosphorylation in saturating ATP. Enzyme inactivation occurs in the presence and absence of self-association and appears predominantly sensitive to nucleotide concentration, because saturating concentrations of $\rm Mg\sp{2+}/ADP$ or $\rm Mg\sp{2+}/ATP$ prevent this process. These data implicate the ATP binding pocket in both inactivation and self-association. We also observed that select peptide substrates and peptide inhibitors modeled after the autoregulatory domain of CaM kinase prevented these processes. The $\alpha$ and $\beta$ isozymes of CaM kinase were characterized independently, and were observed to exhibit differences in both enzyme inactivation and self-association. The $\beta$ isozyme was less sensitive to inactivation, and was never observed to self-associate. Biophysical characterization, and transmission electron microscopy coupled with image analysis indicated both isozymes were multimeric, however, the $\alpha$ and $\beta$ isozymes appeared structurally different. We hypothesize that the $\alpha$ subunit of CaM kinase plays both a structural and enzymatic role, and the $\beta$ subunit plays an enzymatic role. The ramifications for the functional differences observed for inactivation and self-association are discussed based on potential structural differences and autoregulation of the $\alpha$ and $\beta$ isozymes in both calcium-induced physiological and pathological processes.

Subject Area

Neurology|Cellular biology|Molecular biology|Biochemistry

Recommended Citation

Hudmon, Andy, "Inactivation and self-association of CaM kinase: Effects of ATP, substrate binding domains, and isozymic forms" (1997). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI9807053.