Preserved close linkage between the genes encoding troponin I and troponin T, reflecting an evolution of adapter proteins coupling the Ca2+ signaling of contractility

Qi Quan Huang, Jian Ping Jin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations

Abstract

Ca2+-regulated motility is essential to numerous cellular functions, including muscle contraction. Systems with troponin C, myosin light chain, or calmodulin as the Ca2+ receptor have evolved in striated muscle and other types of cells to transduce the cytoplasm Ca2+ signals into allosteric conformational changes of contractile proteins. While these Ca2+ receptors are homologous proteins, their coupling to the responding elements is quite different in various cell types. The Ca2+ regulatory system in vertebrate striated muscle represents a highly specialized such signal transduction pathway consisting of the troponin complex and tropomyosin associated with the actin filament. To understand the molecular mechanism in the Ca2+ regulation of muscle contraction and cell motility, we have revealed a preserved ancestral close linkage between the genes encoding two of the troponin subunits, troponin I and troponin T, in the genome of mouse. The data suggest that the troponin I and troponin T genes may have originated from a single locus and evolved in parallel to encode a striated muscle-specific adapter to couple the Ca2+ receptor, troponin C, to the actin-myosin contractile machinery. This hypothesis views the three troponin subunits as two structure-function domains: the Ca2+ receptor and the signal transducing adapter. This model may help to further our understanding of the Ca2+ regulation of muscle contraction and the structure-function relationship of other potential adapter proteins which are converged to constitute the Ca2+ signal transduction pathways governing non-muscle cell motility.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)780-788
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Molecular Evolution
Volume49
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1999

Keywords

  • Calcium signal transduction
  • Cell motility
  • E-C coupling
  • Muscle contraction
  • Troponin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics

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