Structure and function of a calmodulin-dependent smooth muscle myosin light chain kinase
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In smooth muscle the Mr 20,000 light chain of myosin is phosphorylated by a calmodulin-dependent protein kinase. It consists of 2 subunits: calmodulin, an acidic protein of Mr 17,000 that binds 4 moles of Ca2+; and a larger protein of Mr circa 130,000. Activation of the kinase is dependent upon their association in the presence of Ca2+. Cyclic AMP-dependent protein kinase phosphorylation of the myosin light chain kinase occurs at 2 sites. It decreases the affinity of the kinase for calmodulin and a reduction in the rate of light chain phosphorylation occurs. The kinase has an overall asymmetric shape composed of a globular head and tail region for the skeletal muscle enzyme. Trypsin digestion of this kinase releases a fragment of Mr 36,000 from the globular region that contains the catalytic and calmodulin binding sites. Chymotrypsin digestion of the kinase from smooth muscle generates a fragment of Mr 80,000 that does not contain the calmodulin binding or cyclic AMP-dependent protein kinase phosphorylation sites. It is a Ca2+-independent form of the kinase that phosphorylates the light chain of myosin. These structural features indicate a regulatory role for the kinase in smooth muscle phosphorylation and contraction.
Key wordsCalmodulin cyclic AMP myosin protein kinase phosphorylation smooth muscle (gizzards)
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