Guanylate cyclase-activating protein 1 (GCAP1), encoded by the GUCA1A gene, is a neuronal calcium sensor protein involved in shaping the photoresponse kinetics in cones and rods. GCAP1 accelerates or slows the cGMP synthesis operated by retinal guanylate cyclase (GC) based on the light-dependent levels of intracellular Ca2+, thereby ensuring a timely regulation of the phototransduction cascade. We found a novel variant of GUCA1A in a patient affected by autosomal dominant cone dystrophy (adCOD), leading to the Asn104His (N104H) amino acid substitution at the protein level. While biochemical analysis of the recombinant protein showed impaired Ca2+ sensitivity of the variant, structural properties investigated by circular dichroism and limited proteolysis excluded major structural rearrangements induced by the mutation. Analytical gel filtration profiles and dynamic light scattering were compatible with a dimeric protein both in the presence of Mg2+ alone and Mg2+ and Ca2+. Enzymatic assays showed that N104H-GCAP1 strongly interacts with the GC, with an affinity that doubles that of the WT. The doubled IC50 value of the novel variant (520 nM for N104H vs. 260 nM for the WT) is compatible with a constitutive activity of GC at physiological levels of Ca2+. The structural region at the interface with the GC may acquire enhanced flexibility under high Ca2+ conditions, as suggested by 2 μs molecular dynamics simulations. The altered interaction with GC would cause hyper-activity of the enzyme at both low and high Ca2+ levels, which would ultimately lead to toxic accumulation of cGMP and Ca2+ in the photoreceptor outer segment, thus triggering cell death.

A Novel GUCA1A Variant Associated with Cone Dystrophy Alters cGMP Signaling in Photoreceptors by Strongly Interacting with and Hyperactivating Retinal Guanylate Cyclase

Biasi, Amedeo;Marino, Valerio;Dal Cortivo, Giuditta;Dell'Orco, Daniele
2021

Abstract

Guanylate cyclase-activating protein 1 (GCAP1), encoded by the GUCA1A gene, is a neuronal calcium sensor protein involved in shaping the photoresponse kinetics in cones and rods. GCAP1 accelerates or slows the cGMP synthesis operated by retinal guanylate cyclase (GC) based on the light-dependent levels of intracellular Ca2+, thereby ensuring a timely regulation of the phototransduction cascade. We found a novel variant of GUCA1A in a patient affected by autosomal dominant cone dystrophy (adCOD), leading to the Asn104His (N104H) amino acid substitution at the protein level. While biochemical analysis of the recombinant protein showed impaired Ca2+ sensitivity of the variant, structural properties investigated by circular dichroism and limited proteolysis excluded major structural rearrangements induced by the mutation. Analytical gel filtration profiles and dynamic light scattering were compatible with a dimeric protein both in the presence of Mg2+ alone and Mg2+ and Ca2+. Enzymatic assays showed that N104H-GCAP1 strongly interacts with the GC, with an affinity that doubles that of the WT. The doubled IC50 value of the novel variant (520 nM for N104H vs. 260 nM for the WT) is compatible with a constitutive activity of GC at physiological levels of Ca2+. The structural region at the interface with the GC may acquire enhanced flexibility under high Ca2+ conditions, as suggested by 2 μs molecular dynamics simulations. The altered interaction with GC would cause hyper-activity of the enzyme at both low and high Ca2+ levels, which would ultimately lead to toxic accumulation of cGMP and Ca2+ in the photoreceptor outer segment, thus triggering cell death.
GUCA1A
calcium binding proteins
cone dystrophy
guanylyl cyclase
neuronal calcium sensor
photoreceptors
phototransduction
retinal degeneration
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11562/1050968
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