Rosenberg OS, Deindl S, Comolli LR, Hoelz A, Downing KH, Nairn AC, Kuriyan J
The FEBS journal 273 (4) 682-694 [2006-02-00; online 2006-01-31]
Ca2+/calmodulin activated protein kinase II (CaMKII) is an oligomeric protein kinase with a unique holoenyzme architecture. The subunits of CaMKII are bound together into the holoenzyme by the association domain, a C-terminal region of approximately 140 residues in the CaMKII polypeptide. Single particle analyses of electron micrographs have suggested previously that the holoenyzme forms a dodecamer that contains two stacked 6-fold symmetric rings. In contrast, a recent crystal structure of the isolated association domain of mouse CaMKIIalpha has revealed a tetradecameric assembly with two stacked 7-fold symmetric rings. In this study, we have determined the crystal structure of the Caenorhabditis elegans CaMKII association domain and it too forms a tetradecamer. We also show by electron microscopy that in its fully assembled form the CaMKII holoenzyme is a dodecamer but without the kinase domains, either from expression of the isolated association domain in bacteria or following their removal by proteolysis, the association domains form a tetradecamer. We speculate that the holoenzyme is held in its 6-fold symmetric state by the interactions of the N-terminal approximately 1-335 residues and that the removal of this region allows the association domain to convert into a more stable 7-fold symmetric form.