Amino acid substitutions in the FXYD motif enhance phospholemman-induced modulation of cardiac L-type calcium channels
K. S Elmslie
B. Z. Peterson
We have found that phospholemman (PLM) associates with and modulates the gating of cardiac L-type calcium channels (Wang et al., Biophys J 98: 1149–1159, 2010). The short 17 amino acid extracellular NH2-terminal domain of PLM contains a highly conserved PFTYD sequence that defines it as a member of the FXYD family of ion transport regulators. Although we have learned a great deal about PLM-dependent changes in calcium channel gating, little is known regarding the molecular mechanisms underlying the observed changes. Therefore, we investigated the role of the PFTYD segment in the modulation of cardiac calcium channels by individually replacing Pro-8, Phe-9, Thr-10, Tyr-11, and Asp-12 with alanine (P8A, F9A, T10A, Y11A, D12A). In addition, Asp-12 was changed to lysine (D12K) and cysteine (D12C). As expected, wild-type PLM significantly slows channel activation and deactivation and enhances voltage-dependent inactivation (VDI). We were surprised to find that amino acid substitutions at Thr-10 and Asp-12 significantly enhanced the ability of PLM to modulate CaV1.2 gating. T10A exhibited a twofold enhancement of PLM-induced slowing of activation, whereas D12K and D12C dramatically enhanced PLM-induced increase of VDI. The PLM-induced slowing of channel closing was abrogated by D12A and D12C, whereas D12K and T10A failed to impact this effect. These studies demonstrate that the PFXYD motif is not necessary for the association of PLM with CaV1.2. Instead, since altering the chemical and/or physical properties of the PFXYD segment alters the relative magnitudes of opposing PLM-induced effects on CaV1.2 channel gating, PLM appears to play an important role in fine tuning the gating kinetics of cardiac calcium channels and likely plays an important role in shaping the cardiac action potential and regulating Ca2+ dynamics in the heart.