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Gene Review

cal-4  -  Protein CAL-4

Caenorhabditis elegans

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High impact information on calmodulin

  • Calcium/calmodulin-dependent serine/threonine kinase type II (CaMKII) is one of the most abundant proteins in the mammalian brain, where it is thought to regulate synaptic plasticity and other processes [1].
  • The functionally mapped catalytic domain of MHCK A shows no detectable sequence similarity to known classes of eukaryotic protein kinases but shares substantial sequence similarity with a transcribed Caenorhabditis elegans gene and with the mammalian elongation factor-2 kinase (calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase III) [2].
  • Regulation of CaMKII kinase activity occurs through an autoinhibitory mechanism in which a regulatory domain of the kinase occupies the catalytic site and calcium/calmodulin activates the kinase by binding to and displacing this regulatory domain [3].
  • Our results suggest that the activation of UNC-43 by calcium/calmodulin displaces the autoinhibitory domain, thereby exposing key residues of the catalytic domain that allow for protein translocation to the neurites [3].
  • Deletion of an amphiphilic basic amino-acid sequence (residues 243-256) predicted to form an alpha-helix located in the proximal region of its pleckstrin homology (PH) domain demonstrates the location of the CaM-binding domain [4].

Biological context of calmodulin


Associations of calmodulin with chemical compounds


Other interactions of calmodulin

  • The signaling cascade is only partially dependent on the phospholipase C beta (EGL-8) and is negatively regulated by G alpha(o) [GOA-1 (G-protein, O, alpha subunit family member 1)] and calcium/calmodulin-dependent kinase [UNC-43 (uncoordinated family member 43)] [11].
  • The polypeptide predicted from the sequence of this gene displays structural features of both calmodulin and troponin C [12].
  • The cDNA sequence of this gene, which has been designated Obscurin-myosin light chain kinase (Obscurin-MLCK), would be predicted to encode for at least 68 immunoglobulin domains, two fibronectin domains, one calcium/calmodulin binding domain, a RhoGTP exchange factor domain, and two serine-threonine kinase domains [13].

Analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic context of calmodulin

  • Finally, we show that RNAi delivery by the feeding protocol does not allow the efficient silencing of the CaM gene obtained by microinjection [7].


  1. Diverse behavioural defects caused by mutations in Caenorhabditis elegans unc-43 CaM kinase II. Reiner, D.J., Newton, E.M., Tian, H., Thomas, J.H. Nature (1999) [Pubmed]
  2. Mapping of the novel protein kinase catalytic domain of Dictyostelium myosin II heavy chain kinase A. Côté, G.P., Luo, X., Murphy, M.B., Egelhoff, T.T. J. Biol. Chem. (1997) [Pubmed]
  3. The role of regulatory domain interactions in UNC-43 CaMKII localization and trafficking. Umemura, T., Rapp, P., Rongo, C. J. Cell. Sci. (2005) [Pubmed]
  4. The adaptor Grb7 is a novel calmodulin-binding protein: functional implications of the interaction of calmodulin with Grb7. Li, H., Sánchez-Torres, J., del Carpio, A.F., Nogales-González, A., Molina-Ortiz, P., Moreno, M.J., Török, K., Villalobo, A. Oncogene (2005) [Pubmed]
  5. Initiation of spermiogenesis in C. elegans: a pharmacological and genetic analysis. Shakes, D.C., Ward, S. Dev. Biol. (1989) [Pubmed]
  6. Mode and tempo of molecular evolution in the nematode caenorhabditis: cytochrome oxidase II and calmodulin sequences. Thomas, W.K., Wilson, A.C. Genetics (1991) [Pubmed]
  7. Functional analysis of the single calmodulin gene in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans by RNA interference and 4-D microscopy. Karabinos, A., Büssing, I., Schulze, E., Wang, J., Weber, K., Schnabel, R. Eur. J. Cell Biol. (2003) [Pubmed]
  8. Timecourse microarray analyses reveal global changes in gene expression of susceptible Glycine max (soybean) roots during infection by Heterodera glycines (soybean cyst nematode). Alkharouf, N.W., Klink, V.P., Chouikha, I.B., Beard, H.S., Macdonald, M.H., Meyer, S., Knap, H.T., Khan, R., Matthews, B.F. Planta (2006) [Pubmed]
  9. The C domain of netrin UNC-6 silences calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase- and diacylglycerol-dependent axon branching in Caenorhabditis elegans. Wang, Q., Wadsworth, W.G. J. Neurosci. (2002) [Pubmed]
  10. Target-induced conformational adaptation of calmodulin revealed by the crystal structure of a complex with nematode Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent kinase kinase peptide. Kurokawa, H., Osawa, M., Kurihara, H., Katayama, N., Tokumitsu, H., Swindells, M.B., Kainosho, M., Ikura, M. J. Mol. Biol. (2001) [Pubmed]
  11. Starvation induces cAMP response element-binding protein-dependent gene expression through octopamine-Gq signaling in Caenorhabditis elegans. Suo, S., Kimura, Y., Van Tol, H.H. J. Neurosci. (2006) [Pubmed]
  12. A novel calmodulin-like gene from the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Salvato, M., Sulston, J., Albertson, D., Brenner, S. J. Mol. Biol. (1986) [Pubmed]
  13. Identification, tissue expression and chromosomal localization of human Obscurin-MLCK, a member of the titin and Dbl families of myosin light chain kinases. Russell, M.W., Raeker, M.O., Korytkowski, K.A., Sonneman, K.J. Gene (2002) [Pubmed]
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