Document Detail

Structure-function relationships in calpains1.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23035980     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Data-Review    
Calpains are a family of complex multi-domain intracellular enzymes that share a calcium-dependent cysteine protease core. These are not degradative enzymes, but instead carry out limited cleavage of target proteins in response to calcium signalling. Selective cutting of cytoskeletal proteins to facilitate cell migration is one such function. The two most abundant and extensively studied members of this family in mammals, calpains 1 and 2, are heterodimers of an isoform-specific 80 kDa large subunit and a common 28 kDa small subunit. Structures of calpain-2, both Ca2+-free and bound to calpastatin in the activated Ca2+-bound state, have provided a wealth of information about the enzyme's structure-function relationships and activation. The main association between the subunits is the pairing of their C-terminal penta-EF-hand domains through extensive intimate hydrophobic contacts. A lesser contact is made between the N-terminal anchor helix of the large subunit and the penta-EF-hand domain of the small subunit. Up to ten Ca2+ ions are co-operatively bound during activation. The anchor helix is released and individual domains change their positions relative to each other to properly align the active site. Because calpains 1 and 2 require ~30 and ~350 μM Ca2+ ions for half-maximal activation respectively, it has long been argued that autoproteolysis, subunit dissociation, post-translational modifications or auxiliary proteins are needed to activate the enzymes in the cell, where Ca2+ levels are in the nanomolar range. In the absence of robust support for these mechanisms, it is possible that under normal conditions calpains are transiently activated by high Ca2+ concentrations in the microenvironment of a Ca2+ influx, and then return to an inactive state ready for reactivation.
Robert L Campbell; Peter L Davies
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The Biochemical journal     Volume:  447     ISSN:  1470-8728     ISO Abbreviation:  Biochem. J.     Publication Date:  2012 Nov 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-10-05     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  2984726R     Medline TA:  Biochem J     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  335-51     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Biomedical and Molecular Sciences, Queen's University, Kingston, ON, Canada, K7L 3N6.
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