Selective degradation of oxidized calmodulin by the 20 S proteasome

Deborah A. Ferrington, Hongye Sun, Kathryn K. Murray, Jessica Costa, Todd D. Williams, Diana J. Bigelow, Thomas C. Squier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

106 Scopus citations


We have investigated the mechanisms that target oxidized calmodulin for degradation by the proteasome. After methionine oxidation within calmodulin, rates of degradation by the 20 S proteasome are substantially enhanced, Mass spectrometry was used to identify the time course of the proteolytic fragments released from the proteasome. Oxidized calmodulin is initially degraded into large proteolytic fragments that are released from the proteasome and subsequently degraded into small peptides that vary in size from 6 to 12 amino acids. To investigate the molecular determinants that result in the selective degradation of oxidized calmodulin, we used circular dichroism and fluorescence spectroscopy to assess oxidant-induced structural changes. There is a linear correlation between decreases in secondary structure and the rate of degradation. Calcium binding or the repair of oxidized calmodulin by methionine sulfoxide reductase induces comparable changes in α-helical content and rates of degradation. In contrast, alterations in the surface hydrophobicity of oxidized calmodulin do not alter the rate of degradation by the proteasome, indicating that changes in surface hydrophobicity do not necessarily lead to enhanced proteolytic susceptibility. These results suggest that decreases in secondary structure expose proteolytically sensitive sites in oxidized calmodulin that are cleaved by the proteasome in a nonprocessive manner.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)937-943
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 12 2001
Externally publishedYes


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