Jos A. Cox

University of Geneva, Genève, GE, Switzerland

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Publications (68)

  • Jos A Cox
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Intracellular Ca(2+)-binding proteins (CaBPs) are sensors of the calcium signal and several of them even shape the signal. Most of them are equipped with at least two EF-hand motifs designed to bind Ca(2+). Their affinities are very variable, can display cooperative effects, and can be modulated by physiological Mg(2+) concentrations. These binding phenomena are monitored by four major techniques: equilibrium dialysis, fluorimetry with fluorescent Ca(2+) indicators, flow dialysis, and isothermal titration calorimetry. In the last quarter of the twentieth century reports on the ion-binding characteristics of several abundant wild-type CaBPs were published. With the advent of recombinant CaBPs it became possible to determine these properties on previously inaccessible proteins. Here I report on studies by our group carried out in the last decade on eight families of recombinant CaBPs, their mutants, or truncated domains. Moreover this chapter deals with the currently used methods for quantifying the binding of Ca(2+) and Mg(2+) to CaBPs.
    Article · Jan 2013 · Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.)
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Centrins are calcium binding proteins that belong to the EF-hand (or calmodulin) superfamily, which are highly conserved among eukaryotes. Herein, we report the molecular features and binding properties of the green alga Scherffelia dubia centrin (SdCen), a member of the Chlamydomonas reinhardtii centrin (CrCen) subfamily. The Ca(2+) binding capacity of SdCen and its isolated N- and C-terminal domains (N-SdCen and C-SdCen, respectively) was investigated using flow dialysis and isothermal titration calorimetry. In contrast with human centrin 1 and 2 (from the same subfamily), but like CrCen, SdCen exhibits three physiologically significant Ca(2+) binding sites, two in the N-terminal domain and one in the C-terminal domain. Mg(2+) ions could compete with Ca(2+) in one of the N-terminal sites. When Ca(2+) binds, the N-terminal domain becomes more stable and exposes a significant hydrophobic surface that binds hydrophobic fluorescent probes. The Ca(2+) binding properties and the metal ion-induced structural changes in the C-terminal domain are comparable to those of human centrins. We used isothermal titration calorimetry to quantify the binding of SdCen, N-SdCen, and C-SdCen to three types of natural target peptides, derived from the human XPC protein (P17-XPC), the human Sfi1 protein (R17-hSfi1), and the yeast Kar1 protein (P19-Kar1). The three peptides possess the complete (P17-XPC and R17-hSfi1) or partial (P19-Kar1) centrin binding motif (W(1)L(4)L(8)). The integral SdCen exhibits two binding sites for each target peptide, with distinct affinities for each site and each peptide. The high-affinity peptide binding site corresponds to the C-terminal domain of SdCen and displays binding constants and the poor Ca(2+) sensitivities similar to those observed for human centrins. The low-affinity site constituted by the N-terminal domain is active only in the presence of Ca(2+). The thermodynamic binding parameters suggest that the C-terminal domain of SdCen may be constitutively bound to a target, while the N-terminal domain could bind a target only after a Ca(2+) signal. SdCen is also able to interact with calmodulin binding peptides (W(1)F(5)V(8)F(14) motif) with a 1:1 stoichiometry, whereas the isolated N- and C-terminal domains have a much lower affinity. These data suggest particular molecular mechanisms used by SdCen (and probably by other algal centrins) to respond to cellular Ca(2+) signals.
    Full-text Article · May 2010 · Biochemistry
  • Mukti Ojha · Arlette Cattaneo · Séverine Hugh · [...] · Jos A Cox
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Allomyces arbuscula, a primitive chytridiomycete fungus, has two Ca(2+)-dependent cysteine proteases, the CDP I and CDP II. We have cloned and analyzed the nucleotide sequence of CDP II gene and domain structure of the protein. Blast analysis of the sequence has shown that the protein belongs to a newly described member of caspase superfamily protein, the metacaspase, a CD clan of C14 family cysteine protease, we hence-forth name it as AMca 2 (Allomyces metacaspase 2). Southern hybridization studies have shown that the gene exists in a single copy per genome. The transcriptional analysis by Northern hybridization has confirmed our previous results that the protein is developmentally regulated, i.e. present in active growth phase but disappears during nutritional stress which also induces reproductive differentiation, indicating that the protein promotes cell growth, not death. The recombinant gene product expressed in Escherichiacoli has all the catalytic properties of native enzyme, i.e. sensitivity to protease inhibitors and substrate specificity. There is an absolute requirement of Ca(2+) for the activation of catalytic activity and the presence of R residue at the cleavage site (P1 position) in the substrate. The presence of a second basic residue, either R or K, in the P2 position strongly inhibits the catalytic activity which is stimulated by the presence of P and to a lesser extent G at this site. Peptide substrates with D at the cleavage site are not recognised and therefore not cleaved. The enzyme activity is inhibited by EDTA-EGTA, cysteine protease inhibitors and a specific peptide inhibitor Ac GVRCHCL TFA, but not by E64, although a potent inhibitor of cysteine proteases.
    Article · Mar 2010 · Gene
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: NADPH oxidases (NOX) are important superoxide producing enzymes that regulate a variety of physiological and pathological processes such as bacteria killing, angiogenesis, sperm-oocyte fusion, and oxygen sensing. NOX5 is a member of the NOX family but distinct from the others by the fact that it contains a long N-terminus with four EF-hand Ca(2+)-binding sites (NOX5-EF). NOX5 generates superoxide in response to intracellular Ca(2+) elevation in vivo and in a cell-free system. Previously, we have shown that the regulatory N-terminal EF-hand domain interacts directly and in a Ca(2+)-dependent manner with the catalytic C-terminal catalytic dehydrogenase domain (CDHD) of the enzyme, leading to its activation. Here we have characterized the interaction site for the regulatory NOX5-EF in the catalytic CDHD of NOX5 using cloned fragments and synthetic peptides of the CDHD. The interaction was monitored with pull-down techniques, cross-linking experiments, tryptophan fluorescence, hydrophobic exposure, isothermal titration calorimetry, and cell-free system enzymatic assays. This site is composed of two short segments: the 637-660 segment, referred to as the regulatory EF-hand-binding domain (REFBD), and the 489-505 segment, previously identified as the phosphorylation region (PhosR). NOX5-EF binds to these two segments in a Ca(2+)-dependent way, and the superoxide generation by NOX5 depends on this interaction. Controlled proteolysis suggests that the REFBD is autoinhibitory and inhibition is relieved by NOX5-EF.
    Full-text Article · Dec 2009 · Biochemistry
  • Fabiana Tirone · Jos A Cox
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Superoxide generation by NADPH oxidase 5 (NOX5) is regulated by Ca(2+) through intramolecular activation of the C-terminal catalytic domain by the EF-hand-containing N-terminal regulatory domain. The C terminus contains a consensus calmodulin-binding domain (CaMBD), which, however, is not the binding site of the N-terminal regulatory domain. Here we show by pull down, cross-linking, fluorimetry and by enzymatic assays, that calmodulin binds to this CaMBD in a Ca(2+)-dependent manner, changes its conformation and increases the Ca(2+) sensitivity of the N terminus-regulated enzymatic activity. This mechanism represents an additional sophistication in the regulation of superoxide production by NOX5.
    Article · Apr 2007 · FEBS Letters
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: S100A16 protein is a new and unique member of the EF-hand Ca(2+)-binding proteins. S100 proteins are cell- and tissue-specific and are involved in many intra- and extracellular processes through interacting with specific target proteins. In the central nervous system S100 proteins are implicated in cell proliferation, differentiation, migration, and apoptosis as well as in cognition. S100 proteins became of major interest because of their close association with brain pathologies, for example depression or Alzheimer's disease. Here we report for the first time the purification and biochemical characterization of human and mouse recombinant S100A16 proteins. Flow dialysis revealed that both homodimeric S100A16 proteins bind two Ca(2+) ions with the C-terminal EF-hand of each subunit, the human protein exhibiting a 2-fold higher affinity. Trp fluorescence variations indicate conformational changes in the orthologous proteins upon Ca(2+) binding, whereas formation of a hydrophobic patch, implicated in target protein recognition, only occurs in the human S100A16 protein. In situ hybridization analysis and immunohistochemistry revealed a widespread distribution in the mouse brain. Furthermore, S100A16 expression was found to be astrocyte-specific. Finally, we investigated S100A16 intracellular localization in human glioblastoma cells. The protein was found to accumulate within nucleoli and to translocate to the cytoplasm in response to Ca(2+) stimulation.
    Article · Jan 2007 · Journal of Biological Chemistry
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    Ghada Rabah · Razvan Popescu · Jos A Cox · [...] · Constantin T Craescu
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The solution structure of Nereis diversicolor sarcoplasmic calcium-binding protein (NSCP) in the calcium-bound form was determined by NMR spectroscopy, distance geometry and simulated annealing. Based on 1859 NOE restraints and 262 angular restraints, 17 structures were generated with a rmsd of 0.87 A from the mean structure. The solution structure, which is highly similar to the structure obtained by X-ray crystallography, includes two open EF-hand domains, which are in close contact through their hydrophobic surfaces. The internal dynamics of the protein backbone were determined by studying amide hydrogen/deuterium exchange rates and 15N nuclear relaxation. The two methods revealed a highly compact and rigid structure, with greatly restricted mobility at the two termini. For most of the amide protons, the free energy of exchange-compatible structural opening is similar to the free energy of structural stability, suggesting that isotope exchange of these protons takes place through global unfolding of the protein. Enhanced conformational flexibility was noted in the unoccupied Ca2+-binding site II, as well as the neighbouring helices. Analysis of the experimental nuclear relaxation and the molecular dynamics simulations give very similar profiles for the backbone generalized order parameter (S2), a parameter related to the amplitude of fast (picosecond to nanosecond) movements of N(H)-H vectors. We also noted a significant correlation between this parameter, the exchange rate, and the crystallographic B factor along the sequence.
    Full-text Article · May 2005 · FEBS Journal
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: There are four isoforms of centrin in mammals, with variable sequence, tissue expression, and functional properties. We have recently characterized a number of structural, ion, and target binding properties of human centrin isoform HsCen2. This paper reports a similar characterization of HsCen3, overexpressed in Escherichia coli and purified by phase-reversed chromatography. Equilibrium and dynamic binding studies revealed that HsCen3 has one mixed Ca(2+)/Mg(2+) binding site of high affinity (K(d) = 3 and 10 microM for Ca(2+) and Mg(2+), respectively) and two Ca(2+)-specific sites of low affinity (K(d) = 140 microM). The metal-free protein is fragmented by an unidentified protease into a polypeptide segment of 11 kDa, which was purified by HPLC, and identified by mass spectrometry as the segment of residues 21-112. Similarly, controlled trypsinolysis on Ca(2+)-bound HsCen3 yielded a mixture of segments of residues 1-124 and 1-125. The Ca(2+)/Mg(2+) site could be assigned to this segment and thus resides in the N-terminal half of HsCen3. Temperature denaturation experiments, circular dichroism, and utilization of fluorescence hydrophobic probes allowed us to propose that the metal-free protein has molten globule characteristics and that the dication-bound forms are compact with a polar surface for the Mg(2+) form and a hydrophobic exposed surface for the Ca(2+) form. Thus, HsCen3 could be classified as a Ca(2+) sensor protein. In addition, it is able to bind strongly to a model target peptide (melittin), as well as to peptides derived from the protein XPC and Kar1p, with a moderate Ca(2+) dependence.
    Full-text Article · Feb 2005 · Biochemistry
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    Botond Bánfi · Fabiana Tirone · Isabelle Durussel · [...] · Jos A Cox
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: NADPH oxidase 5 (NOX5) is a homologue of the gp91(phox) subunit of the phagocyte NADPH oxidase. NOX5 is expressed in lymphoid organs and testis and distinguished from the other NADPH oxidases by its unique N terminus, which contains three canonical EF-hands, Ca(2+)-binding domains. Upon heterologous expression, NOX5 was shown to generate superoxide in response to intracellular Ca(2+) elevations. In this study, we have analyzed the mechanism of Ca(2+) activation of NOX5. In a cell-free system, Ca(2+) elevations triggered superoxide production by NOX5 (K(m) = 1.06 microm) in an NADPH- and FAD-dependent but cytosol-independent manner. That result indicated a role for the N-terminal EF-hands in NOX5 activation. Therefore, we generated recombinant proteins of NOX5 N terminus and investigated their interactions with Ca(2+). Flow dialysis experiments showed that NOX5 N terminus contained four Ca(2+)-binding sites and allowed us to define the hitherto unidentified fourth, non-canonical EF-hand. The EF-hands of NOX5 formed two pairs: the very N-terminal pair had relatively low affinity for Ca(2+), whereas the more C-terminal pair bound Ca(2+) with high affinity. Ca(2+) binding caused a marked conformation change in the N terminus, which exposed its hydrophobic core, and became able to bind melittin, a model peptide for calmodulin targets. Using a pull-down assay, we demonstrate that the regulatory N terminus and the catalytic C terminus of NOX5 interact in a Ca(2+)-dependent way. Our results indicate that the Ca(2+)-induced conformation change of NOX5 N terminus led to enzyme activation through an intra-molecular interaction. That represents a novel mechanism of activation among NAD(P)H oxidases and Ca(2+)-activated enzymes.
    Full-text Article · May 2004 · Journal of Biological Chemistry
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Calexcitin (CE) is a calcium sensor protein that has been implicated in associative learning through the Ca(2+)-dependent inhibition of K(+) channels and activation of ryanodine receptors. CE(B), the major CE variant, was identified as a member of the sarcoplasmic Ca(2+) binding protein family: proteins that can bind both Ca(2+) and Mg(2+). We have now determined the intrinsic Ca(2+) and Mg(2+) binding affinities of CE(B) and investigated their interplay on the folding and structure of CE(B). We find that urea denaturation of CE(B) displays a three-state unfolding transition consistent with the presence of two structural domains. Through a combination of spectroscopic and denaturation studies we find that one domain likely possesses molten globule structure and contains a mixed Ca(2+)/Mg(2+) binding site and a Ca(2+) binding site with weak Mg(2+) antagonism. Furthermore, ion binding to the putative molten globule domain induces native structure formation. The other domain contains a single Ca(2+)-specific binding site and has native structure, even in the absence of ion binding. Ca(2+) binding to CE(B) induces the formation of a recessed hydrophobic pocket. On the basis of measured ion binding affinities and intracellular ion concentrations, it appears that Mg(2+)-CE(B) represents the resting state and Ca(2+)-CE(B) corresponds to the active state, under physiological conditions.
    Full-text Article · Jun 2003 · Biochemistry
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Human centrin 2 (HsCen2) is an EF-hand protein that plays a critical role in the centrosome duplication and separation during cell division. We studied the structural and Ca(2+)-binding properties of two C-terminal fragments of this protein: SC-HsCen2 (T94-Y172), covering two EF-hands, and LC-HsCen2 (M84-Y172), having 10 additional residues. Both fragments are highly disordered in the apo state but become better structured (although not conformationally homogeneous) in the presence of Ca(2+) and depending on the nature of the cations (K(+) or Na(+)) in the buffer. Only the longer C-terminal domain, in the Ca(2+)-saturated state and in the presence of Na(+) ions, was amenable to structure determination by nuclear magnetic resonance. The solution structure of LC-HsCen2 reveals an open two EF-hand structure, similar to the conformation of related Ca(2+)-saturated regulatory domains. Unexpectedly, the N-terminal helix segment (F86-T94) lies over the exposed hydrophobic cavity. This unusual intramolecular interaction increases considerably the Ca(2+) affinity and constitutes a useful model for the target binding.
    Article · Mar 2003 · Biochemistry
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Two recombinant human isopeptidase T isoforms, ISOT-S and ISOT-L, differing by an insertion of 23 amino acids in ISOT-L, were previously classified as thiol proteases. Both contain one Zn2+-binding site of high-affinity, which is part of a cryptic nitrilo-triacetate-resistant pocket (site 1). A second Zn2+ site (site 2) was disclosed when both isoforms of the holoenzyme were incubated with an excess of Zn2+. The firmly bound Zn2+ of site 1 could be removed either slowly by dialysis against 1,10-phenanthroline at pH 5.5 or rapidly by treatment at pH 3.0 in the presence of 6 M urea followed by gel filtration at neutral pH. Zn2+ in site 1, but not in site 2, is essential for proteolytic activity because apoproteins were inactive. Inhibition of the catalytic activity was not due to a loss of ubiquitin binding capacity. CD spectra of both isoforms disclosed no major structural differences between the apo- and holoenzymes. The reconstitution of apoenzyme with Zn2+ under nondenaturing conditions at pH 5.5 completely restored enzymatic activity, which was indistinguishable from the reconstitution carried out in urea at pH 3.0. Thus, both human ISOTs are either thiol proteases with a local structural Zn2+ or monozinc metalloproteases that might use in catalysis a Zn2+-activated hydroxide ion polarized by Cys335.
    Article · Dec 2002 · Biochemistry
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: S100 proteins have attracted great interest in recent years because of their cell- and tissue-specific expression and association with various human pathologies. Most S100 proteins are small acidic proteins with calcium-binding domains - the EF hands. It is thought that this group of proteins carry out their cellular functions by interacting with specific target proteins, an interaction that is mainly dependent on exposure of hydrophobic patches, which result from calcium binding. S100A13, one of the most recently identified members of the S100 family, is expressed in various tissues. Interestingly, hydrophobic exposure was not observed upon calcium binding to S100A13 even though the dimeric form displays two high- and two low- affinity sites for calcium. Here, we followed the translocation of S100A13 in response to an increase in intracellular calcium levels, as protein translocation has been implicated in assembly of signaling complexes and signaling cascades, and several other S100 proteins are involved in such events. Translocation of S100A13 was observed in endothelial cells in response to angiotensin II, and the process was dependent on the classic Golgi-ER pathway. By contrast, S100A6 translocation was found to be distinct and dependent on actin-stress fibers. These experiments suggest that different S100 proteins utilize distinct translocation pathways, which might lead them to certain subcellular compartments in order to perform their physiological tasks in the same cellular environment.
    Full-text Article · Sep 2002 · Journal of Cell Science
  • Isabelle Durussel · Bruno Méhul · Dominique Bernard · [...] · Jos A Cox
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Human CLSP, a new Ca(2+)-binding protein specifically expressed in differentiated keratinocytes, is a 15.9 kDa, four EF-hand containing protein with 52% sequence identity to calmodulin (CaM). The protein binds four Ca(2+) ions at two pairs of sites with [Ca(2+)](0.5) values of 1.2 and 150 microM, respectively. Mg(2+) at millimolar concentrations strongly decreases the affinity for Ca(2+) of the two high-affinity sites, but has no effect on the low-affinity sites. The protein can also bind two Mg(2+) ([Mg(2+)](0.5) = 57 microM) at the sites of high Ca(2+) affinity. Thus, as fast skeletal muscle troponin C (TnC), CLSP possesses two high-affinity Ca(2+)-Mg(2+) mixed sites and two low-affinity Ca(2+)-specific sites. Studies on the isolated recombinant N- (N-CLSP) and C-terminal half domains of CLSP (C-CLSP) revealed that, in contrast to the case of TNC, the high-affinity Ca(2+)-Mg(2+) mixed sites reside in the N-terminal half. The binding of cations modifies the intrinsic fluorescence of the two Tyr residues. Upon Ca(2+) binding, hydrophobicity is exposed at the protein surface that can be monitored with a fluorescent probe. The Ca(2+)-dependency of the two conformational changes is biphasic in the absence of Mg(2+), but monophasic in the presence of 2 mM Mg(2+), both corresponding closely to direct binding of Ca(2+) to CLSP. In the presence of Ca(2+), human CLSP forms a high-affinity 1:1 complex with melittin, a natural peptide considered to be a model for the interaction of CaM with its targets. In the complex, CLSP binds Ca(2+) with high affinity to all four binding sites. Isolated N- and C-CLSP show only a weak interaction with melittin, which is enhanced when both halves are simultaneously presented to the model peptide.
    Article · May 2002 · Biochemistry
  • Isabelle Théret · Sibyl Baladi · Jos A. Cox · [...] · Constantin T. Craescu
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: CaVP (calcium vector protein) is a Ca(2+) sensor of the EF-hand protein family which is highly abundant in the muscle of Amphioxus. Its three-dimensional structure is not known, but according to the sequence analysis, the protein is composed of two domains, each containing a pair of EF-hand motifs. We determined recently the solution structure of the C-terminal domain (Trp81-Ser161) and characterized the large conformational and dynamic changes induced by Ca(2+) binding. In contrast, the N-terminal domain (Ala1-Asp86) has lost the capacity to bind the metal ion due to critical mutations and insertions in the two calcium loops. In this paper, we report the solution structure of the N-terminal domain and its backbone dynamics based on NMR spectroscopy, nuclear relaxation, and molecular modeling. The well-resolved three-dimensional structure is typical of a pair of EF-hand motifs, joined together by a short antiparallel beta-sheet. The tertiary arrangement of the two EF-hands results in a closed-type conformation, with near-antiparallel alpha-helices, similar to other EF-hand pairs in the absence of calcium ions. To characterize the internal dynamics of the protein, we measured the (15)N nuclear relaxation rates and the heteronuclear NOE effect in (15)N-labeled N-CaVP at a magnetic field of 11.74 T and 298 K. The domain is mainly monomeric in solution and undergoes an isotropic Brownian rotational diffusion with a correlation time of 7.1 ns, in good agreement with the fluorescence anisotropy decay measurements. Data analysis using a model-free procedure showed that the amide backbone groups in the alpha-helices and beta-strands undergo highly restricted movements on a picosecond to nanosecond time scale. The amide groups in Ca(2+) binding loops and in the linker fragment also display rapid fluctuations with slightly increased amplitudes.
    Article · Dec 2001 · Biochemistry
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Unlabelled: CaVP is a calcium-binding protein from amphioxus. It has a modular composition with two domains, but only the two EF-hand motifs localized in the C-terminal domain are functional. We recently determined the solution structure of this regulatory half (C-CaVP) in the Ca(2+)-saturated form and characterized the stepwise ion binding. This paper reports the (15)N nuclear relaxation rates of the Ca(2+)-saturated C-CaVP, measured at four different NMR fields (9.39, 11.74, 14.1, and 18.7 T), which were used to map the spectral density function for the majority of the amide H(N)-N vectors. Fitting the spectral density values at eight frequencies by a model-free approach, we obtained the microdynamic parameters characterizing the global and internal movements of the polypeptide backbone. The two EF-hand motifs, including the ion binding loops, behave like compact structural units with restricted mobility as reflected in the quite uniform order parameter and short internal correlation time (< 20 nsec). Comparative analysis of the two Ca(2+) binding sites shows that site III, having a larger affinity for the metal ion, is generally more rigid, and the amide vector in the second residue of each loop is significantly less restricted. The linker fragment is animated simultaneously by a larger amplitude fast motion and a slow conformational exchange on a microsecond to millisecond time scale. The backbone dynamics of C-CaVP characterized here is discussed in relation with other well-characterized Ca(2+)-binding proteins. Supplemental material: See
    Full-text Article · Jul 2001 · Protein Science
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Nereis sarcoplasmic Ca(2+)-binding protein (NSCP) is a calcium buffer protein that binds Ca(2+) ions with high affinity but is also able to bind Mg(2+) ions with high positive cooperativity. We investigated the conformational and stability changes induced by the two metal ions. The thermal reversible unfolding, monitored by circular dichroism spectroscopy, shows that the thermal stability is maximum at neutral pH and increases in the order apo < Mg(2+) < Ca(2+). The stability against chemical denaturation (urea, guanidinium chloride) studied by circular dichroism or intrinsic fluorescence was found to have a similar ion dependence. To explore in more detail the structural basis of stability, we used the fluorescent probes to evaluate the hydrophobic surface exposure in the different ligation states. The apo-NSCP exhibits accessible hydrophobic surfaces, able to bind fluorescent probes, in clear contrast with denatured or Ca(2+)/Mg(2+)-bound states. Gel filtration experiments showed that, although the metal-bound NSCP has a hydrodynamic volume in agreement with the molecular mass, the volume of the apo form is considerably larger. The present results demonstrate that the apo state has many properties in common with the molten globule. The possible factors of the metal-dependent structural changes and stability are discussed.
    Article · Sep 2000 · Proteins Structure Function and Bioinformatics
  • Isabelle Théret · Sibyl Baladi · Jos A. Cox · [...] · Constantin T. Craescu
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Calcium vector protein (CaVP) from amphioxus is a two-domain, calcium-binding protein (18.3 kDa) of the calmodulin superfamily. Only two of the four EF-hand motifs (sites III and IV) have a significant binding affinity for calcium ions. We determined the solution structure of the domain containing these active sites (C-CaVP: W81-S161), in the Ca(2+)-saturated state, using NMR spectroscopy and restrained molecular dynamics. The tertiary structure is similar to other Ca(2+)-binding domains containing a pair of EF-hand motifs. The apo state has spectroscopic and thermodynamic characteristics of a molten globule, with conserved secondary structure but highly fluctuating tertiary organization. Titration of C-CaVP with Ca(2+) revealed a stepwise ion binding, with a stable equilibrium intermediate in which only site III binds a calcium ion. Despite a highly fluctuating structure of the free site IV, the calcium-bound site III has a persistent structure, with similar secondary elements but different interhelix angle and hydrophobic packing relative to the fully calcium-saturated state.
    Article · Aug 2000 · Biochemistry
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    Isabelle Durussel · Yves Blouquit · Sandrine Middendorp · [...] · Jos A. Cox
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Centrin and calmodulin (CaM) are closely related four-EF-hand Ca(2+)-binding proteins. While CaM is monomeric, centrin 2 is dimeric and binds only two Ca(2+) per dimer, likely to site IV in each monomer. Ca(2+) binding to centrin 2 displays pronounced negative cooperativity and a [Ca(2+)](0.5) of 30 microM. As in CaM, Ca(2+) binding leads to the exposure of a hydrophobic probe-accessible patch on the surface of centrin 2. Provided Ca(2+) is present, centrin 2 forms a 1:1 peptide:monomer complex with melittin with an affinity of 100 nM. The complex binds four instead of two Ca(2+). Our data point to surprising differences in the mode of activation of these homologous proteins.
    Full-text Article · May 2000 · FEBS Letters
  • Article: S100A13
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: S100 proteins became of major interest because of their divergent cell- and tissue-specific expression, their close association with a number of human diseases, and their importance for clinical diagnostics. Here, we report for the first time the purification and characterization of human recombinant S100A13. Flow dialysis revealed that the homodimeric S100A13 binds four Ca2+ in two sets of binding sites, both displaying positive cooperativity but of very different affinity. Fluorescence and difference spectrophotometry indicate that the Trp/Tyr signal changes are almost complete upon binding of Ca2+ to the two high affinity sites, which probably correspond to the C-terminal EF-hands in each subunit. The far-UV circular dichroic signal also changes upon binding of the first two Ca2+. So far, the tissue distribution of S100A13 has not been well characterized. Here, we show that S100A13 is widely expressed in various types of tissues with a high expression level in thyroid gland. Using specific antisera against S100A13, high protein expression was detected in follicle cells of thyroid, Leydig cells of testis, and specific cells of brain. In human smooth muscle cells, which co-express S100A2 in the nucleus and S100A1 in stress fibers, S100A13 shows a unique subcellular localization in the perinuclear area. These data suggest diverse functions for this protein in signal transduction.
    Article · Mar 2000 · Journal of Biological Chemistry

Publication Stats

2k Citations


  • 1981-2004
    • University of Geneva
      • Department of Biochemistry
      Genève, GE, Switzerland
  • 2002
    • University of Zurich
      Zürich, Zurich, Switzerland
  • 1996
    • The University of Calgary
      Calgary, Alberta, Canada