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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Identification of calmodulin-like activity in term human amnion: effect of calmodulin inhibitors on prostaglandin biosynthesis.

Human amnion prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) synthesis increases with the onset of labour, and this synthesis is Ca2+-dependent. To understand better the mechanism of Ca2+-stimulated PGE2 biosynthesis, studies were performed to identify the presence of the intracellular Ca2+-mediator, calmodulin, in human amnion and to examine its role in PGE2 synthesis. Calmodulin-like activity was identified by the ability of the microsomal and cytosolic fractions of the 105,000g centrifugation of amnion homogenate to stimulate cyclic AMP-dependent phosphodiesterase activity. Cytosolic fractions consistently stimulated phosphodiesterase activity more than microsomal fractions (P less than 0.001) in paired samples from term human amnions. This activity was calcium-dependent. The cytosolic and microsomal factors increased the Vmax but not the Km of phosphodiesterase. There were no differences in these parameters with the onset of labour. The distribution of calmodulin-like activity between microsomes and cytosol was similar to the distribution of calmodulin mass as determined by radioimmunoassay. Three structurally different inhibitors of calmodulin activity, calmidazolium, trifluoperazine and W7, were tested for their ability to inhibit cytosolic factor-stimulated phosphodiesterase activity and to inhibit PGE2 output from dispersed amnion cells obtained before the onset of labour at term (cesarean section cells) or after spontaneous labour and vaginal delivery (spontaneous labour cells). The 50% inhibitory concentrations of the calmodulin antagonists in the phosphodiesterase assay were: trifluoperazine (6.7 microM), calmidazolium (0.11 microM), and W7 (24 microM). Trifluoperazine inhibited both basal and calcium ionophore (A23187)-stimulated PGE2 output from cesarean section cells and spontaneous labour amnion cells. Calmidazolium inhibited basal PGE2 output in cesarean section cells and spontaneous labour cells, but had no effect on A23187-stimulated output. W7 inhibited only the ionophore-stimulated PGE2 output in cesarean section amnion cells. The rank order of inhibition of both phosphodiesterase activation and basal PGE2 output was: calmidazolium greater than trifluoperazine greater than W7. These results suggest that human amnion contains calmodulin and that its distribution, concentration and activity remain unchanged with the onset of labour. The data suggest, although not conclusively, that calmodulin may, in part, play a role in amnion cell PGE2 production. Further investigation of calmodulin effects upon specific enzymes in the PGE2 synthetic pathway will be necessary to elucidate a role for calmodulin in PGE2 production.[1]


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