Generation and characterization of calmodulin-DHFR sandwich fusion protein

  • Han, Chang Hoon (College of Veterinary Medicine, Cheju National University)
  • Accepted : 2008.09.03
  • Published : 2008.12.01

Abstract

A calmodulin-dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) sandwich fusion protein was generated by insertion of calmodulin into the $\beta$-bulge region of DHFR to observe the effects of structurally constraining the calmodulin structure. The calcium binding properties of the sandwich protein were almost identical to calmodulin. Similar to calmodulin ($10.7 {\mu}M$), the sandwich protein bound four equivalents of calcium, with half saturation ($K_{0.5}$) observed at a [$Ca^{2+}$] of $8{\mu}M$. However, nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) kinase activation property of the sandwich protein was lower than that of calmodulin. The sandwich protein activated NAD kinase, but to only half of the level obtained with calmodulin. The K 0.5 for both calmodulin and the sandwich protein were approximately the same (1-2 nM). Methylation analyses of the sandwich protein show that insertion of calmodulin into DHFR results in a large decrease in methylation. The $V_{max}$ observed with the sandwich protein (95 nmole/min/ml) was only 22% of the value observed with calmodulin (436 nmol/min/ml) in the presence of calcium. Addition of trimethoprim to the reaction significantly inhibited the observed methylation rate. Overall, the data suggest that the insertion of calmodulin into the DHFR structure has little effect on calcium binding by the individual lobes of calmodulin, but may constrain the lobes in a manner that results in altered interaction with the calmodulin-dependent proteins, and severely perturbed the methyltransferase recognition site.

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