Parvalbumin isoforms in chicken muscle and thymus. Amino acid sequence analysis of muscle parvalbumin by tandem mass spectrometry

Biochemistry. 1991 Sep 10;30(36):8812-6. doi: 10.1021/bi00100a012.


Parvalbumins are high-affinity Ca(2+)-binding proteins characterized by an EF-hand structure. Muscles of lower vertebrates contain up to five isoparvalbumins whereas higher vertebrates were believed to contain only one isoform per species. Recently Brewer et al. [Brewer, J.M., Wunderlich, J.K., & Ragland, W. (1990) Biochimie 72, 653-660] purified and sequenced a protein that they named avian thymic hormone, from chicken thymus. This protein, promoting immunological maturation of bone marrow cells in culture, was identified as a parvalbumin. The amino acid composition of this thymic parvalbumin was, however, considerably different from those of chicken muscle parvalbumin [Strehler, E.E., Eppenberger, H.M., & Heizman, C.W. (1977) FEBS Lett. 75, 127-133], suggesting the existence of two tissue-specific parvalbumins in chicken. We purified parvalbumin from chicken muscle, determined its complete amino acid sequence by tandem mass spectrometry, and showed that this protein is rather homologous to muscle parvalbumins from other species but different in 45 positions from the thymic parvalbumin. We discuss the possibility that a parvalbumin gene family might exist in higher vertebrates, expressed in a tissue-specific and developmentally regulated manner.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Amino Acids / isolation & purification*
  • Animals
  • Chickens
  • Humans
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Mice
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Muscles / chemistry*
  • Parvalbumins / chemistry*
  • Parvalbumins / isolation & purification
  • Rabbits
  • Rats
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid
  • Stereoisomerism
  • Thymus Gland / chemistry*


  • Amino Acids
  • Parvalbumins

Associated data

  • PIR/P80026
  • SWISSPROT/P80026