Calmodulin-dependent Ca2+-pump ATPase of human smooth muscle sarcolemma

  • Popescu L
  • Ignat P
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Abstract

An enzymatically active Ca2+-stimulated ATPase has been isolated from the sarcolemmal sheets of human smooth muscle (myometrium). Ca2+-ATPase activity was quantitated in an assay medium which simulated the characteristic free ionic concentrations of the cytosol. New computer programs for calculating the composition of solutions containing metals (Ca, Mg, Na, K) and ligands (EGTA, ATP), based on the updated stability constants, were used. In detergent-soluble form the enzyme has a high Ca2+-affinity expressed by an apparent Km(Ca2+) of 0.25 ± 0.04 μM. The maximum specific activity (about 20 nmol of Pi/mg protein/min) was found in the micromolar domain of free-Ca2+concentrations, the same levels required for normal maximal contractions in smooth muscle. The variation of free-Ca2+concentration in the assay medium over 4 orders of magnitude (pCa 9 to pCa 5) resulted in a sigmoidal dependence of enzymatic activity, with a Hill coefficient of 1.4, which suggested the regulation of Ca2+-ATPase by allosteric effectors. The presence and the activator role of endogenous calmodulin in smooth muscle sarcolemma was proved by calmodulin-depletion experiments and by using suitable anticalmodulinic concentrations of trifluoperazine. The addition of exogenous calmodulin restored the enzyme activity. Apparently, the concentration of calmodulin in isolated smooth muscle sarcolemma is about 0.1% of sarcolemmal proteins, as deduced from the comparison of calmodulin-depletion and calmodulin-readdition experiments. Calmodulin increased significantly the enzyme Ca2+-affinity and Vmax(by a factor of about 10). At variance with the sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca2+-ATPase, the sarcolemmal Ca2+-ATPase is extremely sensitive to orthovanadate, half-maximal inhibition being observed at 0.8 μM vanadate. In conclusion, the Ca2+-ATPase isolated from smooth muscle sarcolemma appears very similar to the well-known Ca2+-pump ATPases of erythrocyte membrane, heart sarcolemma or axolemma. We suggest that this high-affinity Ca2+-ATPase represents the calmodulin-regulated Ca2+-extrusion pump of the smooth muscle sarcolemma. © 1983.

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Authors

  • L. M. Popescu

  • P. Ignat

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