Zinc Modulation of Neuronal Calcium Sensor Proteins: Three Modes of Interaction with Different Structural Outcomes

Event date: 
Friday, 17 June, 2022

Congratulation to Vika post doc in team 9 (Cytoskeleton and NeuroPhysiopathology) for this great piece of work on Zinc Modulation of 3 families of Neuronal Calcium Sensor Proteins recently published in Biomolecules. This article authored by Viktoriia E Baksheeva, Philipp O Tsvetkov, Arthur O Zalevsky, Vasiliy I Vladimiro, Neonila V Gorokhovets, Dmitry V Zinchenko, Sergei E Permyakov, François Devred and Evgeni Yu Zernii and which was conducted with the help of PINT platform, shows once again the essential role that Zinc plays in the physiopathologie of prone-to-aggregate proteins. 

You may access the full paper here or there 

Title : Zinc Modulation of Neuronal Calcium Sensor Proteins: Three Modes of Interaction with Different Structural Outcomes

Abstract : Neuronal calcium sensors (NCSs) are the family of EF-hand proteins mediating Ca2+-dependent signaling pathways in healthy neurons and neurodegenerative diseases. It was hypothesized that the calcium sensor activity of NCSs can be complemented by sensing fluctuation of intracellular zinc, which could further diversify their function. Here, using a set of biophysical techniques, we analyzed the Zn2+-binding properties of five proteins belonging to three different subgroups of the NCS family, namely, VILIP1 and neurocalcin-δ/NCLD (subgroup B), recoverin (sub- group C), as well as GCAP1 and GCAP2 (subgroup D). We demonstrate that each of these proteins is capable of coordinating Zn2+ with a different affinity, stoichiometry, and structural outcome. In the absence of calcium, recoverin and VILIP1 bind two zinc ions with submicromolar affinity, and the binding induces pronounced conformational changes and regulates the dimeric state of these proteins without significant destabilization of their structure. In the presence of calcium, recoverin binds zinc with slightly decreased affinity and moderate conformational outcome, whereas VILIP1 becomes 2+ 2+ insensitive to Zn . NCALD binds Zn with micromolar affinity, but the binding induces dramatic destabilization and aggregation of the protein. In contrast, both GCAPs demonstrate low-affinity binding of zinc independent of calcium, remaining relatively stable even at submillimolar Zn2+ concentrations. Based on these data, and the results of structural bioinformatics analysis, NCSs can be divided into three categories: (1) physiological Ca2+/Zn2+ sensor proteins capable of binding exchangeable (signaling) zinc (recoverin and VILIP1), (2) pathological Ca2+/Zn2+ sensors responding only to aberrantly high free zinc concentrations by denaturation and aggregation (NCALD), and (3) Zn2+-resistant, Ca2+ sensor proteins (GCAP1, GCAP2). We suggest that NCS proteins may there- fore govern the interconnection between Ca2+ dependent and Zn2+-dependent signaling pathways in healthy neurons and zinc cytotoxicity-related neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease and glaucoma