Calmodulin isoforms in Arabidopsis encoded by multiple divergent mRNAs

Margaret C. Gawienowski, Daniel Szymanski, Imara Y. Perera, Raymond E. Zielinski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Three new, unique cDNA sequences encoding isoforms of calmodulin (CaM) were isolated from an Arabidopsis cDNA library cloned in λgt10. These sequences (ACaM-4, -5, and -6) represent members of the Arabidopsis CaM gene family distinct from the three DNA sequences previously reported. ACaM-4 and -6 encode full-length copies of CaM mRNAs of ca. 0.75 kb. The ACaM-5 sequence encodes a partial length copy of CaM mRNA that is lacking sequences encoding the amino-terminal 10 amino acids of mature CaM and the initiator methionine. The derived amino acid sequence of ACaM-5 is identical to the sequences encoded by two of the previously characterized ACaM cDNAs, and is identical to TCH-1 mRNA, whose accumulation was increased by touch stimulation. The polypeptides encoded by ACaM-4 and -6 differ from that encoded by ACaM-5 by six and two amino acid substititions, respectively. Most of the deduced amino acid sequence substitutions in the Arabidopsis CaM isoforms occurred in the fourth Ca2+-binding domain. Polymerase chain reaction amplification assays of ACaM-4, -5 and -6 mRNA sequences indicated that each accumulated in Arabidopsis leaf RNA fractions, but only ACaM-4 and -5 mRNAs were detected in silique total RNA. The six different CaM cDNA sequences each hybridize with unique Eco RI restriction fragments in genomic Southern blots of Arabidopsis DNA, indicating that these sequences were derived from distinct structural genes. Our results suggest that CaM isoforms in Arabidopsis may have evolved to optimize the interaction of this Ca2+-receptor protein with specific subsets of response elements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)215-225
Number of pages11
JournalPlant Molecular Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1993


  • Arabidopsis
  • calmodulin sequence
  • gene expression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science


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