• Jiao Y, Jalan-Sakrikar N, Robison AJ, Baucum AJ, Bass MA, Colbran RJ. Characterization of a central Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase IIalpha/beta binding domain in densin that selectively modulates glutamate receptor subunit phosphorylation. The Journal of biological chemistry. 2011 Jul 15;286(28). 24806-18. PMID: 21610080 [PubMed]. PMCID: PMC3137056.


The densin C-terminal domain can target Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase IIα (CaMKIIα) in cells. Although the C-terminal domain selectively binds CaMKIIα in vitro, full-length densin associates with CaMKIIα or CaMKIIβ in brain extracts and in transfected HEK293 cells. This interaction requires a second central CaMKII binding site, the densin-IN domain, and an "open" activated CaMKII conformation caused by Ca(2+)/calmodulin binding, autophosphorylation at Thr-286/287, or mutation of Thr-286/287 to Asp. Mutations in the densin-IN domain (L815E) or in the CaMKIIα/β catalytic domain (I205/206K) disrupt the interaction. The amino acid sequence of the densin-IN domain is similar to the CaMKII inhibitor protein, CaMKIIN, and a CaMKIIN peptide competitively blocks CaMKII binding to densin. CaMKII is inhibited by both CaMKIIN and the densin-IN domain, but the inhibition by densin is substrate-selective. Phosphorylation of a model peptide substrate, syntide-2, or of Ser-831 in AMPA receptor GluA1 subunits is fully inhibited by densin. However, CaMKII phosphorylation of Ser-1303 in NMDA receptor GluN2B subunits is not effectively inhibited by densin in vitro or in intact cells. Thus, densin can target multiple CaMKII isoforms to differentially modulate phosphorylation of physiologically relevant downstream targets.