Calcium/calmodulin inhibits direct binding of spectrin to synaptosomal membranes

J. P. Steiner, H. T. Walke, V. Bennett

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25 Scopus citations


Brain spectrin, through its β subunit, binds with high affinity to protein-binding sites on brain membranes quantitatively depleted of ankyrin (Steiner, J., and Bennett, V. (1988) J. Biol. Chem. 263, 14417-14425). In this study, calmodulin is demonstrated to inhibit binding of brain spectrin to synaptosomal membranes. Submicromolar concentrations of calcium are required for inhibition of binding, with half-maximal effects at pCa = 6.5. Calmodulin competitively inhibits binding of spectrin to protein(s) in stripped synaptosomal membranes, with K(i) = 1.3 μM in the presence of 10 μM calcium. A reversible receptor-mediated process, and not proteolysis, is responsible for inhibition since the effect of calcium/calmodulin is reversed by the calmodulin antagonist trifluoperazine and by chelation of calcium with sodium [ethylenebis(oxyethylenetrilo)]tetraacetic acid. The target of calmodulin is most likely the spectrin attachment protein(s) rather than spectrin itself since: (a) membrane binding of the brain spectrin β subunit, which does not associate with calmodulin, is inhibited by calcium/calmodulin, and (b) red cell spectrin which binds calmodulin very weakly, is inhibited from interacting with membrane receptors in the presence of calcium/calmodulin. Ca2+/calmodulin inhibited association of erythrocyte spectrin with synaptosomal membranes but had no effect on binding of erythrocyte or brain spectrin to ankyrin in erythrocyte membranes. These experiments demonstrate the potential for differential regulation of spectrin-membrane protein interactions, with the consequence that Ca2+/calmodulin can dissociate direct spectrin-membrane interactions locally or regionally without disassembly of the areas of the membrane skeleton stabilized by linkage of spectrin to ankyrin. A membrane protein of M(r) = 88,000 has been identified that is dissociated from spectrin affinity columns by calcium/calmodulin and is a candidate for the calmodulin-sensitive spectrin-binding site in brain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2783-2791
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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