Proteins That Bind Calcium in a Phospholipid-Dependent Manner

Mohammad D. Bazzi, Gary L. Nelsestuen

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Three proteins (Mr = 64K, 32K, and 22K) that bind to phospholipids in a calcium-dependent manner were purified from bovine brain. The calcium-binding properties of these proteins were investigated by equilibrium dialysis and by gel filtration chromatography. The 64- and 32-kDa proteins were found to have calcium- and phospholipid-binding properties strikingly similar to those of protein kinase C [Bazzi, M. D., & Nelsestuen, G. L. (1990) Biochemistry 29, 7624]. The free proteins bound limited divalent metal ion even at 200 μM calcium. However, they bound eight to nine calcium ions per protein in the presence of membranes containing acidic phospholipids. The calcium concentrations needed for protein-phospholipid binding were different for these two proteins and were strongly influenced by the phospholipid composition of the vesicles; vesicles of higher phosphatidylserine content required lower concentrations of calcium for protein-membrane association. These properties described a general type of calcium-interacting system where simultaneous interaction of all three components (protein, phospholipids, and calcium) is required. The free, proteins may provide only partial coordinate bonds to each calcium ion, but complete calcium-binding sites could be generated at the protein-phospholipid interface. In contrast to the 64- and 32-kDa proteins, the 22-kDa protein bound similar amounts of calcium (two to three ions/protein) in the presence or the absence of phospholipids. The 22-kDa protein had the lowest affinity for phospholipid and the highest affinity for calcium of the three proteins tested. Thus, calcium-dependent phospholipid-binding proteins consist of several types. Calcium binding in a phospholipid-dependent manner may constitute a major type of calcium-response element in the cell. For example, the 64- and 32-kDa proteins appear to be quite abundant and may even function as a calcium buffer to modulate signaling events.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)971-979
Number of pages9
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1991


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