Characterization of a 7.5-kDa protein kinase C substrate (RC3 protein, neurogranin) from rat brain

Arch Biochem Biophys. 1993 Sep;305(2):570-80. doi: 10.1006/abbi.1993.1463.


A 7.5-kDa heat- and acid-stable rat brain protein kinase C (PKC) substrate was purified to near homogeneity by a two-step procedure using DEAE-cellulose and hydroxylapatite column chromatography. This 78-amino-acid protein has a sequence identical to that deduced from rat brain RC3 cDNA identified with a cortex-minus-cerebellum subtracted cDNA probe (J. B. Watson et al., J. Neurosci. Res. 26, 397-408, 1990) and exhibits extensive sequence identity to bovine brain neurogranin (J. Baudier et al., J. Biol. Chem. 266, 229-237, 1991). On sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis this protein, RC3, migrated as a M(r) 15-18K species in the presence of reducing agent and as heterogeneous species of M(r) 13-28K in the absence of reducing agent. Phosphorylation of RC3 by PKC alpha, beta, or gamma was stimulated by Ca2+, phospholipid, and diacylglycerol. A single site, Ser36, which is adjacent to the predicted calmodulin (CaM)-binding domain, was phosphorylated by these enzymes. Phosphorylation of RC3 by PKC or PKM, a protease-degraded PKC, was inhibited by CaM. The effect of CaM apparently targets at RC3, as phosphorylation of protamine sulfate by PKM was not inhibited by CaM. In the absence of Ca2+, RC3 formed a stoichiometric complex with CaM as evidenced by an increase in the M(r) determined by gel filtration chromatography. In the presence of Ca2+, the affinity of RC3 toward CaM is greatly reduced and Ca2+/CaM becomes less inhibitory of the PKM-catalyzed phosphorylation of RC3. Phosphorylation of RC3 by PKM prevented the interaction of this protein with CaM even in the absence of Ca2+. A 20-amino-acid synthetic peptide (AS-20F-W) containing the PKC phosphorylation site and CaM-binding domain of RC3 (Ala29-Ser48) with a substitution of Phe37 with tryptophan was used to monitor the interaction of this peptide with CaM by spectrofluorometry. In the absence of Ca2+, CaM caused negligible change in tryptophan fluorescence of the peptide; however, an enhancement and blue-shift of the emission fluorescence was observed in the presence of Ca2+. It seems that this synthetic peptide, as well as RC3 holoprotein, interacts with CaM through electrostatic interaction in the absence of Ca2+ but through hydrophobic interaction in the presence of Ca2+. In rat brain homogenate, RC3 formed a stable complex with CaM in the presence of Ca2+, as demonstrated by immunoblot analysis following gel filtration chromatography.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Brain Chemistry
  • Calcium / metabolism
  • Calmodulin / metabolism
  • Calmodulin-Binding Proteins / chemistry
  • Calmodulin-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Isoenzymes / metabolism
  • Kinetics
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / chemistry
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / metabolism*
  • Neurogranin
  • Phosphoproteins / chemistry
  • Phosphoproteins / metabolism*
  • Protein Kinase C / metabolism*
  • Rats


  • Calmodulin
  • Calmodulin-Binding Proteins
  • Isoenzymes
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Nrgn protein, rat
  • Phosphoproteins
  • Neurogranin
  • Protein Kinase C
  • Calcium