Differential regulation of Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent enzymes by plant calmodulin isoforms and free Ca2+ concentration

S. H. Lee, J. D. Johnson, M. P. Walsh, J. E. Van Lierop, C. Sutherland, A. Xu, W. A. Snedden, D. Kosk-Kosicka, H. Fromm, N. Narayana, M. J. Cho*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Multiple calmodulin (CaM) isoforms are expressed in plants, but their biochemical characteristics are not well resolved. Here we show the differential regulation exhibited by two soya bean CaM isoforms (SCaM-1 and SCaM-4) for the activation of five CaM dependent enzymes, and the Ca2+ dependence of their target enzyme activation. SCaM-1 activated myosin light-chain kinase as effectively as brain CaM (K(act) 1.8 and 1.7 nM respectively), but SCaM-4 produced no activation of this enzyme. Both CaM isoforms supported near maximal activation of CaM-dependent protein kinase II (CaM KII), but SCaM-4 exhibited approx. 12-fold higher K(act) than SCaM-1 for CaM KII phosphorylation of caldesmon. The SCaM isoforms showed differential activation of plant and animal Ca2+-ATPases. The plant Ca2+-ATPase was activated maximally by both isoforms, while the erythrocyte Ca2+-ATPase was activated only by SCaM-1. Plant glutamate decarboxylase was activated fully by SCaM-1, but SCaM-4 exhibited an approx. 4-fold increase in K(act) and an approx. 25% reduction in V(max). Importantly, SCaM isoforms showed a distinct Ca2+ concentration requirement for target enzyme activation. SCaM-4 required 4-fold higher [Ca2+] for half-maximal activation of CaM KII, and 1.5-fold higher [Ca2+] for activation of cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterase than SCaM-1. Thus these plant CaM isoforms provide a mechanism by which a different subset of target enzymes could be activated or inhibited by the differential expression of these CaM isoforms or by differences in Ca2+ transients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)299-306
Number of pages8
JournalBiochemical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - 15 Aug 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Ca signalling
  • Differential activation
  • Target enzyme regulation


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