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BACKGROUND - Calcyclin is a member of the S100 subfamily of EF-hand Ca(2+)-binding proteins. This protein has implied roles in the regulation of cell growth and division, exhibits deregulated expression in association with cell transformation, and is found in high abundance in certain breast cancer cell lines. The novel homodimeric structural motif first identified for apo calcyclin raised the possibility that S100 proteins recognize their targets in a manner that is distinctly different from that of the prototypical EF-hand Ca2+ sensor, calmodulin. The NMR solution structure of Ca(2+)-bound calcyclin has been determined in order to identify Ca(2+)-induced structural changes and to obtain insights into the mechanism of Ca(2+)-triggered target protein recognition.
RESULTS - The three-dimensional structure of Ca(2+)-bound calcyclin was calculated with 1372 experimental constraints, and is represented by an ensemble of 20 structures that have a backbone root mean square deviation of 1.9 A for the eight helices. Ca(2+)-bound calcyclin has the same symmetric homodimeric fold as observed for the apo protein. The helical packing within the globular domains and the subunit interface also change little upon Ca2+ binding. A distinct homology was found between the Ca(2+)-bound states of the calcyclin subunit and the monomeric S100 protein calbindin D9k.
CONCLUSIONS - Only very modest Ca(2+)-induced changes are observed in the structure of calcyclin, in sharp contrast to the domain-opening that occurs in calmodulin and related Ca(2+)-sensor proteins. Thus, calcyclin, and by inference other members of the S100 family, must have a different mode for transducing Ca2+ signals and recognizing target proteins. This proposal raises significant questions concerning the purported roles of S100 proteins as Ca2+ sensors.
Cytochrome P450 3A7 is the major P450 form present in fetal liver tissue and may be responsible for the detoxification of many drugs that reach the fetal circulation. We report the development of bacterial expression systems for P450 3A7. Maximal yields (up to 50 nmol P450/liter culture) were obtained with a construct in which the 5'-terminus of the 3A7 cDNA was modified to include the MALLLAVFL N-terminal sequence of recombinant bovine P450 17A (H. J. Barnes, M. P. Arlotto, and M. R. Waterman, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 88, 5597-5601, 1991) and to incorporate several downstream amino acid substitutions derived from the P450 3A5 sequence. This sequence also appeared optimal for expression of P450 3A4 and 3A5. Recombinant P450 3A7 was partially purified using ion-exchange and hydroxylapatite chromatography and reconstituted with NADPH-cytochrome P450 reductase, cytochrome b5, and lipids. Activity comparable to that of P450 3A4 was demonstrated toward a number of procarcinogens. An alternative approach was used to further characterize recombinant 3A7 due to low yields of recombinant protein in the expression and poor recovery in the purification. P450 3A7 was subcloned into a bicistronic vector containing human NADPH-cytochrome P450 reductase and expressed in bacteria. Recombinant P450 3A7 coexpressed in bacterial membranes with NADPH-cytochrome P450 reductase showed similar levels of activity toward erythromycin (N-demethylation) and ethylmorphine (N-demethylation) to P450 3A4 and 3A5 expressed in the same system, whereas 3A7 was less active toward midazolam (1'- and 4-hydroxylation) and nifedipine (oxidation).
Many catalytic activities of cytochrome P450 (P450) 3A4, the major human liver P450 enzyme, require cytochrome b5 (b5) for optimal rates. The stimulatory effect of b5 on P450 reactions has generally been thought to be due to transfer of electrons from ferrous b5 to the ferrous P450-O2-substrate complex. We found that apo-b5, devoid of heme, could substitute for b5 in stimulating two prototypic activities, testosterone 6beta hydroxylation and nifedipine oxidation. The stimulatory effect was not seen with albumin, hemoglobin, catalase, or cytochrome c. Apo-b5 could not substitute for b5 in a testosterone 6beta hydroxylation system composed of NADH-b5 reductase and P450 3A4. Rates of electron transfer from NADPH-P450 reductase to ferric P450 3A4 were too slow (<2 min-1) to support testosterone 6beta hydroxylation ( approximately 14 min-1) unless b5 or apo-b5 was present, when rates of approximately 700 min-1 were measured. The oxidation-reduction potential (Em,7) of the ferric/ferrous couple of P450 3A4 was unchanged ( approximately -310 mV) under different conditions in which the kinetics of reduction were altered by the addition of substrate and/or apo-b5. Rapid reduction of P450 3A4 required substrate and a preformed complex of P450 3A4, NADPH-P450 reductase, and b5; the rates of binding of the proteins to each other were 2-3 orders of magnitude less than reduction rates. We conclude that b5 can facilitate some P450 3A4-catalyzed oxidations by complexing with P450 3A4 and enhancing its reduction by NADPH-P450 reductase, without directly transferring electrons to P450.
Calbindin D9k exhibits cooperative binding of two calcium ions, hence study of the half-saturated states of the protein is critical to understanding the binding process. However, the half-saturated states are not significantly populated under equilibrium conditions. To circumvent this problem, an absolutely conserved glutamic acid residue in the C-terminal binding site (site II) has been mutated to glutamine (E65Q), causing a substantial reduction in calcium affinity and permitting detailed two-dimensional 1H NMR analysis of calbindin D9k with a calcium ion bound only in the N-terminal EF-hand. Complete 1H resonance assignments have been obtained for (Ca2+)1 E65Q, as well as near complete assignments for the apo and (Ca2+)2 states. A value of 1.1(+/- 0.2) x 10(3) M-1 has been determined for the calcium binding constant in site II, from an analysis of the chemical shift changes in response to titration with calcium. The elements of secondary structure and global folding patterns were identified from nuclear Overhauser effects, backbone spin-spin coupling constants and the exchange rates of backbone amide protons. Although the mutation has only very small effects on the secondary structure and global fold of the protein, it so drastically lowers affinity for Ca2+ in the C-terminal site that (Ca2+)2 E65Q does not correspond to a standard (Ca2+)2 state. From the analysis of the half-saturated state, it is apparent that some reorganization of the structure and changes in the internal dynamics of calbindin D9k does occur for each step of the apo-->(Ca2+)1(I)-->(Ca2+)2 binding pathway. When the first ion is bound to the N-terminal EF-hand, that half of the molecule adopts a conformation and dynamic state similar to the fully calcium-loaded protein state, whereas only minor changes occur in the C-terminal EF-hand. It is only upon binding of the second calcium ion that the C-terminal EF-hand switches over to the fully calcium-loaded state. Together with the results from our earlier study of the apo-->(Ca2+)1(II)-->(Ca2+)2 binding pathway, these findings indicate that changes in protein conformation and dynamics associated with Ca2+ binding contribute to the observed positive cooperativity, and that the molecular details of the cooperative binding events are different for the two binding pathways.
The backbone dynamics of apo- and (Cd2+)1-calbindin D9k have been characterized by 15N nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Spin-lattice and spin-spin relaxation rate constants and steady-state [1H]-15N nuclear Overhauser effects were measured at a magnetic field strength of 11.74 T by two-dimensional, proton-detected heteronuclear NMR experiments using 15N-enriched samples. The relaxation parameters were analyzed using a model-free formalism that characterizes the dynamics of the N-H bond vectors in terms of generalized order parameters and effective correlation times. The data for the apo and (Cd2+)1 states were compared to those for the (Ca2+)2 state [Kördel, J., Skelton, N. J., Akke, M., Palmer, A. G., & Chazin, W. J. (1992) Biochemistry 31, 4856-4866] to ascertain the effects on ion ligation on the backbone dynamics of calbindin D9k. The two binding loops respond differently to ligation by metal ions: high-frequency (10(9)-10(12) s-1) fluctuations of the N-terminal ion-binding loop are not affected by ion binding, whereas residues G57, D58, G59, and E60 in the C-terminal ion-binding loop have significantly lower order parameters in the apo state than in the metal-bound states. The dynamical responses of the four helices to binding of ions are much smaller than that for the C-terminal binding loop, with the strongest effect on helix III, which is located between the linker loop and binding site II. Significant fluctuations on slower time scales also were detected in the unoccupied N-terminal ion-binding loop of the apo and (Cd2+)1 states; the apparent rates were greater for the (Cd2+)1 state. These results on the dynamical response to ion binding in calbindin D9k provide insights into the molecular details of the binding process and qualitative evidence for entropic contributions to the cooperative phenomenon of calcium binding for the pathway in which the ion binds first in the C-terminal site.
The three-dimensional structure of apo calbindin D9k has been determined using constraints generated from nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. The family of solution structures was calculated using a combination of distance geometry, restrained molecular dynamics, and hybrid relaxation matrix analysis of the nuclear Overhauser effect (NOE) cross-peak intensities. Errors and inconsistencies in the input constraints were identified using complete relaxation matrix analyses based on the results of preliminary structure calculations. The final input data consisted of 994 NOE distance constraints and 122 dihedral constraints, aided by the stereospecific assignment of the resonances from 21 beta-methylene groups and seven isopropyl groups of leucine and valine residues. The resulting family of 33 structures contain no violation of the distance constraints greater than 0.17 A or of the dihedral angle constraints greater than 10 degrees. The structures consist of a well-defined, antiparallel four-helix bundle, with a short anti-parallel beta-interaction between the two unoccupied calcium-binding loops. The root-mean-square deviation from the mean structure of the backbone heavy-atoms for the well-defined helical residues is 0.55 A. The remainder of the ion-binding loops, the linker loop connecting the two sub-domains of the protein, and the N and C termini exhibit considerable disorder between different structures in the ensemble. A comparison with the structure of the (Ca2+)2 state indicates that the largest changes associated with ion-binding occur in the middle of helix IV and in the packing of helix III onto the remainder of the protein. The change in conformation of these helices is associated with a subtle reorganization of many residues in the hydrophobic core, including some side-chains that are up to 15 A from the ion-binding site.
The three-dimensional solution structure of (Cd2+)1-calbindin D9k has been determined by distance geometry, restrained molecular dynamics and relaxation matrix calculations using experimental constraints obtained from two-dimensional 1H and 15N-1H NMR spectroscopy. The final input data consisted of 1055 NOE distance constraints and 71 dihedral angle constraints, corresponding to 15 constraints per residue on average. The resulting ensemble of 24 structures has no distance or dihedral angle constraints consistently violated by more than 0.07 A and 1.8 degrees, respectively. The structure is characteristic of an EF-hand protein, with two helix-loop-helix calcium binding motifs joined by a flexible linker, and a short anti-parallel beta-type interaction between the two ion-binding sites. The four helices are well defined with a root mean square deviation from the mean coordinates of 0.35 A for the backbone atoms. The structure of the half-saturated cadmium state was compared with the previously determined solution structures of the apo and fully calcium saturated calbindin D9k. The comparisons were aided by introducing the ensemble averaged distance difference matrix as a tool for analyzing differences between two ensembles of structures. Detailed analyses of differences between the three states in backbone and side-chain dihedral angles, hydrogen bonds, interatomic distances, and packing of the hydrophobic core reveal the reorganization of the protein that occurs upon ion binding. Overall, it was found that (Cd2+)1-calbindin D9k, representing the half-saturated calcium state with an ion in site II, is structurally more similar to the fully calcium-saturated state than the apo state. Thus, for the binding sequence apo-->(Ca2+)II1-->(Ca2+)I,II2, the structural changes occurring upon ion binding are most pronounced for the first binding step, an observation that bears significantly on the molecular basis for cooperative calcium binding in calbindin D9k.
The three-dimensional structure of calbindin D9k in the absence of Ca2+ has been determined using NMR spectroscopy in solution, allowing the first direct analysis of the consequences of Ca2+ binding for a member of the calmodulin superfamily of proteins. The overall response in calbindin D9k is much attenuated relative to the current model for calmodulin and troponin C. These results demonstrate a novel mechanism for modulating the conformational response to Ca(2+)-binding in calmodulin superfamily proteins and provide insights into how their Ca(2+)-binding domains can be fine-tuned to remain essentially intact or respond strongly to ion binding, in relation to their functional requirements.
Tobacco and Arabidopsis plants, expressing a transgene for the calcium-sensitive luminescent protein apoaequorin, revealed circadian oscillations in free cytosolic calcium that can be phase-shifted by light-dark signals. When apoaequorin was targeted to the chloroplast, circadian chloroplast calcium rhythms were likewise observed after transfer of the seedlings to constant darkness. Circadian oscillations in free calcium concentrations can be expected to control many calcium-dependent enzymes and processes accounting for circadian outputs. Regulation of calcium flux is therefore fundamental to the organization of circadian systems.
Calbindin D9k is a small EF-hand protein that binds two calcium ions with positive cooperativity. The molecular basis of cooperativity for the binding pathway where the first ion binds in the N-terminal site (1) is investigated by NMR experiments on the half-saturated state of the N56A mutant, which exhibits sequential yet cooperative binding (Linse S, Chazin WJ, 1995, Protein Sci 4:1038-1044). Analysis of calcium-induced changes in chemical shifts, amide proton exchange rates, and NOEs indicates that ion binding to the N-terminal binding loop causes significant changes in conformation and/or dynamics throughout the protein. In particular, all three parameters indicate that the hydrophobic core undergoes a change in packing to a conformation very similar to the calcium-loaded state. These results are similar to those observed for the (Cd2+)1 state of the wild-type protein, a model for the complementary half-saturated state with an ion bound in the C-terminal site (II). Thus, with respect to cooperativity in either of the binding pathways, binding of the first ion drives the conformation and dynamics of the protein far toward the (Ca2+)2 state, thereby facilitating binding of the second ion. Comparison with the half-saturated state of the analogous E65Q mutant confirms that mutation of this critical bidentate calcium ligand at position 12 of the consensus EF-hand binding loop causes very significant structural perturbations. This result has important implications regarding numerous studies that have utilized mutation of this critical residue for site deactivation.