The combination of thiol protease activity and calmodulin-like EF-hands is a feature unique to the calpains. The regulatory mechanisms governing calpain activity are complex, and the nature of the Ca(2+)-induced switch between inactive and active forms has remained elusive in the absence of structural information. We describe here the 2.6 A crystal structure of m-calpain in the Ca(2+)-free form, which illustrates the structural basis for the inactivity of calpain in the absence of Ca(2+). It also reveals an unusual thiol protease fold, which is associated with Ca(2+)-binding domains through heterodimerization and a C(2)-like beta-sandwich domain. Strikingly, the structure shows that the catalytic triad is not assembled, indicating that Ca(2+)-binding must induce conformational changes that re-orient the protease domains to form a functional active site. The alpha-helical N-terminal anchor of the catalytic subunit does not occupy the active site but inhibits its assembly and regulates Ca(2+)-sensitivity through association with the regulatory subunit. This Ca(2+)-dependent activation mechanism is clearly distinct from those of classical proteases.
|Evidence ID||Analyze ID||Interactor||Interactor Systematic Name||Interactor||Interactor Systematic Name||Type||Assay||Annotation||Action||Modification||Phenotype||Source||Reference||Note|
|Evidence ID||Analyze ID||Gene||Gene Systematic Name||Gene Ontology Term||Gene Ontology Term ID||Qualifier||Aspect||Method||Evidence||Source||Assigned On||Annotation Extension||Reference|
|Evidence ID||Analyze ID||Gene||Gene Systematic Name||Phenotype||Experiment Type||Experiment Type Category||Mutant Information||Strain Background||Chemical||Details||Reference|
|Evidence ID||Analyze ID||Regulator||Regulator Systematic Name||Target||Target Systematic Name||Experiment||Assay||Construct||Conditions||Strain Background||Reference|