Mediating molecular recognition by methionine oxidation: conformational switching by oxidation of methionine in the carboxyl-terminal domain of calmodulin
The C-terminus of calmodulin (CaM) functions as a sensor of oxidative stress, with oxidation of methionine 144 and 145 inducing a nonproductive association of the oxidized CaM with the plasma membrane Ca(2+)-ATPase (PMCA) and other target proteins to downregulate cellular metabolism. To better understand the structural underpinnings and mechanism of this switch, we have engineered a CaM mutant (CaM-L7) that permits the site-specific oxidation of M144 and M145, and we have used NMR spectroscopy to identify structural changes in CaM and CaM-L7 and changes in the interactions between CaM-L7 and the CaM-binding sequence of the PMCA (C28W) due to methionine oxidation. In CaM and CaM-L7, methionine oxidation results in nominal secondary structural changes, but chemical shift changes and line broadening in NMR spectra indicate significant tertiary structural changes. For CaM-L7 bound to C28W, main chain and side chain chemical shift perturbations indicate that oxidation of M144 and M145 leads to large tertiary structural changes in the C-terminal hydrophobic pocket involving residues that comprise the interface with C28W. Smaller changes in the N-terminal domain also involving residues that interact with C28W are observed, as are changes in the central linker region. At the C-terminal helix, (1)H(alpha), (13)C(alpha), and (13)CO chemical shift changes indicate decreased helical character, with a complete loss of helicity for M144 and M145. Using (13)C-filtered, (13)C-edited NMR experiments, dramatic changes in intermolecular contacts between residues in the C-terminal domain of CaM-L7 and C28W accompany oxidation of M144 and M145, with an essentially complete loss of contacts between C28W and M144 and M145. We propose that the inability of CaM to fully activate the PMCA after methionine oxidation originates in a reduced helical propensity for M144 and M145, and results primarily from a global rearrangement of the tertiary structure of the C-terminal globular domain that substantially alters the interaction of this domain with the PMCA.