Tuberization in potato is controlled by hormonal and environmental signals. Ca(2+), an important intracellular messenger, and calmodulin (CaM), one of the primary Ca(2+) sensors, have been implicated in controlling diverse cellular processes in plants including tuberization. The regulation of cellular processes by CaM involves its interaction with other proteins. To understand the role of Ca(2+)/CaM in tuberization, we have screened an expression library prepared from developing tubers with biotinylated CaM. This screening resulted in isolation of a cDNA encoding a novel CaM-binding protein (potato calmodulin-binding protein (PCBP)). Ca(2+)-dependent binding of the cDNA-encoded protein to CaM is confirmed by (35)S-labeled CaM. The full-length cDNA is 5 kb long and encodes a protein of 1309 amino acids. The deduced amino acid sequence showed significant similarity with a hypothetical protein from another plant, Arabidopsis. However, no homologs of PCBP are found in nonplant systems, suggesting that it is likely to be specific to plants. Using truncated versions of the protein and a synthetic peptide in CaM binding assays we mapped the CaM-binding region to a 20-amino acid stretch (residues 1216-1237). The bacterially expressed protein containing the CaM-binding domain interacted with three CaM isoforms (CaM2, CaM4, and CaM6). PCBP is encoded by a single gene and is expressed differentially in the tissues tested. The expression of CaM, PCBP, and another CaM-binding protein is similar in different tissues and organs. The predicted protein contained seven putative nuclear localization signals and several strong PEST motifs. Fusion of the N-terminal region of the protein containing six of the seven nuclear localization signals to the reporter gene beta-glucuronidase targeted the reporter gene to the nucleus, suggesting a nuclear role for PCBP.