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

Binding of centrins and yeast calmodulin to synthetic peptides corresponding to binding sites in the spindle pole body components Kar1p and Spc110p.

Centrins contain four potential Ca2+ binding sites, known as EF-hands, and have essential functions in centrosome duplication and filament contraction. Here we report that centrins from yeast, green algae, and humans bound with high affinity to a peptide of the yeast centrosomal component Kar1p. Interestingly, centrin binding was regulated by physiological relevant changes in [Ca2+], and this Ca2+ dependence was influenced by acidic amino acids within the Kar1p peptide, which also prevented efficient binding of the related yeast calmodulin. However, a hybrid protein with the third and fourth EF-hands from the yeast centrin Cdc31p and the amino-terminal half from yeast calmodulin behaved more like Cdc31p, indicating that the carboxyl-terminal half of Cdc31p influences binding specificity. Besides Kar1p, centrins bound to a yeast calmodulin binding site, explaining the dosage-dependent suppression of a calmodulin mutant by CDC31. Consistent with an essential role of Ca2+ for centrin functions, mutations in the first or the fourth EF-hands of Cdc31p, impairing the Ca2+-induced conformational change of Cdc31p, resulted in nonfunctional proteins in vivo. Our results suggest that centrins are involved in Ca2+ signaling, likely by influencing the properties of target proteins in response to changes in [Ca2+].[1]


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