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Changes in the relative occupancy of metal-binding sites in the profile structure of the sarcoplasmic reticulum membrane induced by phosphorylation of the Ca2+ATPase enzyme in the presence of terbium: a time-resolved, resonance x-ray diffraction study.

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  • Research Article
  • Biology


Time-resolved, terbium resonance x-ray diffraction experiments have provided the locations of three different high-affinity metal-binding/transport sites on the Ca2+ATPase enzyme in the profile structure of the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) membrane. By considering these results in conjunction with the known, moderate-resolution profile structure of the SR membrane (derived from nonresonance x-ray and neutron diffraction studies), it was determined that the three metal-binding sites are located at the "headpiece/stalk" junction in the Ca2+ATPase profile structure, in the "transbilayer" portion of the enzyme profile near the center of the membrane phospholipid bilayer, and at the intravesicular surface of the membrane profile. All three metal-binding sites so identified are simultaneously occupied in the unphosphorylated enzyme conformation. Phosphorylation of the ATPase causes a redistribution of metal density among the sites, resulting in a net movement of metal density toward the intravesicular side of the membrane, i.e., in the direction of calcium active transport. We propose that this redistribution of metal density is caused by changes in the relative binding affinities of the three sites, mediated by local structural changes at the sites resulting from the large-scale (i.e., long-range) changes in the profile structure of the Ca2+ATPase induced by phosphorylation, as reported in an accompanying paper. The implications of these results for the mechanism of calcium active transport by the SR Ca2+ATPase are discussed briefly.

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