The high affinity calcium inhibition of parathyroid adenylate cyclase is not calmodulin dependent
A number of psychotropic drugs, particularly the phenothiazines and related antipsychotic compounds, inhibit a variety of calmodulin-dependent enzymes. The mechanism by which these compounds inhibit the activity of calmodulin is through a selective calcium-dependent binding to this protein. With the notable exception of certain stereoisomers, compounds that are clinically effective antipsychotic agents showed the greatest degree of binding to calmodulin. Other classes of pharmacological agents, including aminergic agonists and antagonists, and nonspecific central nervous system depressants and stimulants, showed little or no binding to calmodulin. In fact, the specificity with which antipsychotic drugs bind to calmodulin suggests the possibility of screening for new and clinically more effective antipsychotic agents based on their selective binding to calmodulin. Certain neuropeptides that produce behavioral effects in animals also were found to inhibit the activity of calmodulin, suggesting that there may be endogenous psychotogens or antipsychotic peptides that interact with calmodulin. Although under ordinary conditions the binding of antipsychotics to calmodulin is reversible, the binding of phenothiazine antipsychotics to calmodulin can be made irreversible either photochemically by ultraviolet irradiation, or enzymatically by a hydrogen peroxide-peroxidase system. Such a labeling technique should prove to be a useful tool to study the localization and turnover of calmodulin. These results indicate that several of the diverse biochemical actions of antipsychotic agents can be explained by a common mechanism, namely, by their binding to and inhibition of calmodulin, and raise the possibility that calmodulin may serve as one of the cellular receptors for certain antipsychotic compounds. However, further studies must be completed before we can state with any degree of certainty that these in vitro biochemical findings can explain the pharmacological and clinical actions of the antipsychotics.