Calmodulin (CaM) signaling involves important, wide spread eukaryotic protein-protein interactions. The solved structures of CaM associated with several of its binding targets, the distinctive binding mechanism of CaM, and the significant trypsin sensitivity of the binding targets combine to indicate that the process of association likely involves coupled binding and folding for both CaM and its binding targets. Here, we use bioinformatics approaches to test the hypothesis that CaM-binding targets are intrinsically disordered. We developed a predictor of CaM-binding regions and estimated its performance. Per residue accuracy of this predictor reached 81%, which, in combination with a high recall/precision balance at the binding region level, suggests high predictability of CaM-binding partners. An analysis of putative CaM-binding proteins in yeast and human strongly indicates that their molecular functions are related to those of intrinsically disordered proteins. These findings add to the growing list of examples in which intrinsically disordered protein regions are indicated to provide the basis for cell signaling and regulation.
2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.