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Phosphorylation determines the calmodulin-mediated Ca2+ response and water permeability of AQP0.

  • Kalman, Katalin1
  • Németh-Cahalan, Karin L
  • Froger, Alexandrine
  • Hall, James E
  • 1 Department of Physiology and Biophysics, University of California, Irvine, CA 92697-4561, USA. [email protected]
Published Article
The Journal of biological chemistry
Publication Date
Jul 25, 2008
DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M801740200
PMID: 18508773


In Xenopus oocytes, the water permeability of AQP0 (P(f)) increases with removal of external calcium, an effect that is mediated by cytoplasmic calmodulin (CaM) bound to the C terminus of AQP0. To investigate the effects of serine phosphorylation on CaM-mediated Ca(2+) regulation of P(f), we tested the effects of kinase activation, CaM inhibition, and a series of mutations in the C terminus CaM binding site. Calcium regulation of AQP0 P(f) manifests four distinct phenotypes: Group 1, with high P(f) upon removal of external Ca(2+) (wild-type, S229N, R233A, S235A, S235K, K238A, and R241E); Group 2, with high P(f) in elevated (5 mm) external Ca(2+) (S235D and R241A); Group 3, with high P(f) and no Ca(2+) regulation (S229D, S231N, S231D, S235N, and S235N/I236S); and Group 4, with low P(f) and no Ca(2+) regulation (protein kinase A and protein kinase C activators, S229D/S235D and S235N/I236S). Within each group, we tested whether CaM binding mediates the phenotype, as shown previously for wild-type AQP0. In the presence of calmidazolium, a CaM inhibitor, S235D showed high P(f) and no Ca(2+) regulation, suggesting that S235D still binds CaM. Contrarily, S229D showed a decrease in recruitment of CaM, suggesting that S229D is unable to bind CaM. Taken together, our results suggest a model in which CaM acts as an inhibitor of AQP0 P(f). CaM binding is associated with a low P(f) state, and a lack of CaM binding is associated with a high P(f) state. Pathological conditions of inappropriate phosphorylation or calcium/CaM regulation could induce P(f) changes contributing to the development of a cataract.

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