Coupling of ATPase activity and motility in smooth muscle myosin is mediated by the regulatory light chain.
Binding of trifluoperazine (TFP), a phenothiazine tranquilizer, to porcine brain calmodulin (CaM) and rabbit skeletal muscle troponin C (Tn C) was measured by an automated high-performance liquid chromatography binding assay using a molecular sieving column; 10 micrograms of either protein per injection is sufficient for determining TFP binding, and results are comparable to those obtained by equilibrium dialysis. Very little binding was observed to either protein in the absence of Ca2+ while in the presence of Ca2+ both proteins bind 4 equiv of TFP. Other characteristics of TFP binding however are different for each protein. For CaM, half-maximal binding occurs at 5.8 microM TFP, the Hill coefficient is 0.82, and the fit of the data to the Scatchard equation is consistent with four independent TFP-binding sites. Binding of one melittin displaces two TFP from CaM. Thus, there are two recognizable classes of TFP-binding sites: those that are displaced by melittin and those that are not. TFP causes an increase in the Ca2+ affinity of CaM, and three Ca2+ must be bound to CaM for TFP binding to occur. The studies also yielded a measure of the intrinsic affinity of three of CaM's Ca2(+)-binding sites that is in agreement with previous reports. For troponin C, half-maximal binding occurs at 16 microM TFP, the Hill coefficient is 1.7, and the data best fit the Adair equation for four binding sites. The measured constants K1, K2, K3, and K4 were 2.5 X 10(4), 6.6 X 10(3), 5.8 X 10(5), and 2.0 X 10(5) M-1, respectively, in 1 mM Ca2+ and were similar when Mg2+ was additionally included. TFP also increases troponin C's Ca2+ affinity, and it is the low-affinity, Ca2(+)-specific binding sites that are affected. These studies yielded a measure of the intrinsic affinity of these Ca2(+)-binding sites that is in agreement with previous measurements.