Structural basis of the intrasteric regulation of myosin light chain kinases

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Science  02 Oct 1992:
Vol. 258, Issue 5079, pp. 130-135
DOI: 10.1126/science.1439761


The smooth muscle myosin light chain kinase (smMLCK) catalytic core was modeled by using the crystallographic coordinates of the cyclic AMP-dependent protein kinase catalytic subunit (cAPK) and a bound pseudosubstrate inhibitor peptide, PKI(5-24). Despite only 30% identity in amino acid sequence, the MLCK sequence can be readily accommodated in this structure. With the exception of the short B-helix, all major elements of secondary structure in the core are very likely conserved. The active site of the modeled MLCK complements the known requirements for peptide substrate recognition. MLCK contains a pseudosubstrate sequence that overlaps the calmodulin binding domain and has been proposed to act as an intrasteric inhibitor and occupy the substrate binding site in the absence of Ca(2+)-calmodulin. The pseudosubstrate sequence can be modeled easily into the entire backbone of PKI(5-24). The results demonstrate that the intrasteric model for regulation of MLCK by intramolecular competitive inhibition is structurally plausible.