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Some Properties of Caldesmon and Calponin and the Participation of These Proteins in Regulation of Smooth Muscle Contraction and Cytoskeleton Formation

N. B. Gusev

Department of Biochemistry, School of Biology and School of Fundamental Medicine, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, 119899 Russia; fax: (095) 939-2747; E-mail: NBGusev@mail.ru

Received March 19, 2001; Revision received May 3, 2001
The interaction of caldesmon with different Ca2+-binding proteins has been analyzed, and it is supposed that one of the conformers of calmodulin might be an endogenous regulator of caldesmon. The arrangement of caldesmon and Ca2+-binding proteins within their complexes has been analyzed by different methods. The central helix of calmodulin is supposed to be located near the single Cys residue in the C-terminal domain of caldesmon. The N-terminal globular domain of calmodulin interacts with sites A and B´ of caldesmon, whereas the C-terminal globular domain of calmodulin binds to site B of caldesmon. The complex of calmodulin and caldesmon is very flexible; therefore, both parallel and antiparallel orientation of polypeptide chains of the two proteins is possible in experiments with short fragments of caldesmon and calmodulin. The length, flexibility, and charge of the central helix of calmodulin play an important role in its interaction with caldesmon. Phosphorylation of caldesmon by different protein kinases in vitro has been analyzed. It was shown that phosphorylation catalyzed by casein kinase II of sites located in the N-terminal domain decreases the interaction of caldesmon with myosin and tropomyosin. Caldesmon and calponin may interact with phospholipids. The sites involved in the interaction of these actin-binding proteins with phospholipids have been mapped. It is supposed that the interaction of calponin and caldesmon with phospholipids may play a role in the formation of cytoskeleton. Calponin interacts with 90-kD heat shock protein (hsp90) that may be involved in transportation of calponin and its proper interaction with different elements of cytoskeleton. Calponin, filamin, and alpha-actinin can simultaneously interact with actin filaments. Simultaneous binding of two actin-binding proteins affects the structure of actin bundles and their mechanical properties and may be of great importance in formation of different elements of cytoskeleton.
KEY WORDS: actin, calmodulin, caldesmon, calponin, phospholipids, protein kinases, phosphorylation