The C2 Domain of PKCα Is a Ca2+-dependent PtdIns(4,5)P2 Sensing Domain: A New Insight into an Old Pathway
The C2 domain is a targeting domain that responds to intracellular Ca2+ signals in classical protein kinases (PKCs) and mediates the translocation of its host protein to membranes. Recent studies have revealed a new motif in the C2 domain, named the lysine-rich cluster, that interacts with acidic phospholipids. The purpose of this work was to characterize the molecular mechanism by which PtdIns(4,5)P2 specifically interacts with this motif. Using a combination of isothermal titration calorimetry, fluorescence resonance energy transfer and time-lapse confocal microscopy, we show here that Ca2+ specifically binds to the Ca2+ -binding region, facilitating PtdIns(4,5)P2 access to the lysine-rich cluster. The magnitude of PtdIns(4,5)P2 binding is greater than in the case of other polyphosphate phosphatidylinositols. Very importantly, the residues involved in PtdIns(4,5)P2 binding are essential for the plasma membrane localization of PKCalpha when RBL-2H3 cells are stimulated through their IgE receptors. Additionally, CFP-PH and CFP-C1 domains were used as bioprobes to demonstrate the co-existence of PtdIns(4,5)P2 and diacylglycerol in the plasma membrane, and it was shown that although a fraction of PtdIns(4,5)P2 is hydrolyzed to generate diacylglycerol and IP3, an important amount still remains in the membrane where it is available to activate PKCalpha. These findings entail revision of the currently accepted model of PKCalpha recruitment to the membrane and its activation.