Calcium-Induced Conformational Transition of Trout Ependymins Monitored by Tryptophan Fluorescence

The Open Biochemistry Journal 24 Feb 2009 RESEARCH ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/1874091X00903010014


Ependymins are secretory, calcium-binding sialoproteins which are the predominant constituents of the cerebrospinal fluid of many teleost fish. A bound form of these regeneration-responsive glycoproteins is associated with collagen fibrils of the extracellular matrix. Here, the tryptophan fluorescence of ependymins was monitored at various Ca2+ concentrations. Two distinct states were identified with a relatively sharp transition at about 1 mM Ca2+. In agreement with previous circular dichroism measurements, this strongly supports the hypothesis that a calcium-induced conformational change is important for the interaction of ependymins with components of the extracellular matrix. Such interactions with constituents of various basal laminae would also explain the important roles of piscine ependymins as well as invertebrate and mammalian ependymin-related proteins for cell adhesion processes and cell migration.

Keywords: Ependymins, MERP, calcium binding, extracellular matrix, tryptophan fluorescence, cell adhesion molecule, learning and memory.
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