A protein complex is shown to participate in a calcium-dependent association with plasma membranes purified either from pig mesenteric lymph node lymphocytes or from human lymphoblastoid cell lines. Plasma membranes prepared in the presence of calcium possess this complex; those prepared in the absence of calcium (5 mM EGTA) do not. The complex associates itself with the inner cytoplasmic surface of the plasma membrane. This complex is referred to as the "acidic protein band" because of its location during migration upon alkaline-urea gel electrophoresis. The complex dissociates from the plasma membrane during electrophoresis on 8-M urea gels, irrespective of calcium levels during electrophoresis; at intermediate urea concentrations (4-6 M), the complex is not dissociated in the presence of calcium. Upon purification of the acidic protein band, SDS acrylamide gel electrophoresis, immunoblotting, and radioimmunoassay techniques suggest that the acidic protein band is composed of at least four peptides (designated 68K, 59K, 20K, 20K): two of these (68K, 20K) are immunopositive for calcineurin and one (20K) is immunopositive for calmodulin. Immunoblots of urea gels also indicate that the calcineurin heavy chain (68K) can also appear at three different locations on the urea gel. Patches and caps induced in human peripheral blood lymphocytes by fluorescein-conjugated goat anti-human IgG are not coincident with the location of calcineurin, which remains distributed throughout the cell.

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