A mutant Paramecium with a defective calcium-dependent potassium conductance has an altered calmodulin: A nonlethal selective alteration in calmodulin regulation

W. H. Schaefer, R. D. Hinrichsen, A. Burgess-Cassler, C. Kung, I. A. Blair, D. M. Watterson

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35 Scopus citations

Abstract

The Paramecium mutant, pantophobiac A, has a defect that results in an in vivo loss of calcium-dependent potassium efflux channel activity. This defect is corrected fully by the microinjection of wild-type Paramecium calmodulin into pantophobiac A cells and is partially restored by calmodulins from other organisms, but it cannot be restored by microinjection of pantophobiac calmodulin. Overall, these results suggested that wild-type Paramecium clamodulin has unique features that allow it to restore fully a normal phenotype and that the defect in pantophobiac A might be an altered calmodulin molecule. Previous studies established the amino acid sequence of wild-type calmodulin and showed that Paramecium calmodulin has several differences from other calmodulins, including the presence of dimethyllysine at residue 13. To test directly the possibility that calmodulin from the pantophobiac mutant might be altered, we purified the mutant calmodulin and compared its properties to those of wild-type Paramecium calmodulin. We found one amino acid sequence difference between the two Paramecium calmodulins: a phenylalanine in the mutant protein, instead of a serine, at residue 101. This change is at a calcium-liganding residue in the third calcium-binding loop. These and previous studies demonstrate that comparatively subtle changes in the structure of calmodulin can result in quantitative alterations in in vivo activity, provide insight into the in vivo roles of calmodulin and the regulation of ion channels, and demonstrate that functional alterations of calmodulin are not necessarily lethal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3931-3935
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume84
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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