Phospholamban binds with differential affinity to calcium pump conformers

Philip Bidwell, Daniel J. Blackwell, Zhanjia Hou, Aleksey V. Zima, Seth L. Robia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


To investigate the mechanism of regulation of sarco-endoplasmic reticulum Ca 2+-ATPase (SERCA) by phospholamban (PLB), we expressed Cerulean-SERCA and yellow fluorescent protein (YFP)-PLB in adult rabbit ventricular myocytes using adenovirus vectors. SERCA and PLB were localized in the sarcoplasmic reticulum and were mobile over multiple sarcomeres on a timescale of tens of seconds. We also observed robust fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) from Cerulean- SERCA to YFP-PLB. Electrical pacing of cardiac myocytes elicited cytoplasmic Ca 2+ elevations, but these increases in Ca 2+produced only modest changes in SERCA-PLB FRET. The data suggest that the regulatory complex is not disrupted by elevations of cytosolic calcium during cardiac contraction (systole). This conclusion was also supported by parallel experiments in heterologous cells, which showed that FRET was reduced but not abolished by calcium. Thapsigargin also elicited a small decrease in PLB-SERCA binding affinity. We propose that PLB is not displaced fromSERCAby high calcium during systole, and relief of functional inhibition does not require dissociation of the regulatory complex. The observed modest reduction in the affinity of the PLB-SERCA complex with Ca 2+ or thapsigargin suggests that the binding interface is altered by SERCA conformational changes. The results are consistent with multiple modes of PLB binding or alternative binding sites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35044-35050
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number40
StatePublished - Oct 7 2011
Externally publishedYes


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