The CaMKII inhibitor KN93-calmodulin interaction and implications for calmodulin tuning of NaV1.5 and RyR2 function

Christopher N. Johnson*, R. Pattanayek, Franck Potet, Robyn T. Rebbeck, Daniel J. Blackwell, R. Nikolaienko, V. Sequeira, Remy Le Meur, Przemysław B. Radwański, Jonathan P. Davis, Aleksey V. Zima, Razvan L. Cornea, Steven M. Damo, Sandor Györke, Alfred L. George, Björn C. Knollmann

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Here we report the structure of the widely utilized calmodulin (CaM)-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) inhibitor KN93 bound to the Ca2+-sensing protein CaM. KN93 is widely believed to inhibit CaMKII by binding to the kinase. The CaM-KN93 interaction is significant as it can interfere with the interaction between CaM and it's physiological targets, thereby raising the possibility of ascribing modified protein function to CaMKII phosphorylation while concealing a CaM–protein interaction. NMR spectroscopy, stopped-flow kinetic measurements, and x-ray crystallography were used to characterize the structure and biophysical properties of the CaM-KN93 interaction. We then investigated the functional properties of the cardiac Na+ channel (NaV1.5) and ryanodine receptor (RyR2). We find that KN93 disrupts a high affinity CaM-NaV1.5 interaction and alters channel function independent of CaMKII. Moreover, KN93 increases RyR2 Ca2+ release in cardiomyocytes independent of CaMKII. Therefore, when interpreting KN93 data, targets other than CaMKII need to be considered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number102063
JournalCell Calcium
StatePublished - Sep 2019


  • CaMKII inhibition
  • Calcium calmodulin dependent kinase type II (CaMKII)
  • Calcium signaling
  • KN92
  • KN93
  • autocamtide-2-inhibitor peptide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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