We have purified and partly characterized a calcium-binding protein from the unfertilized egg of the sea urchin Arbacia punctulata. This protein closely resembles the calcium-binding modulator protein of bovine brain in its molecular weight, electrophoretic mobility, amino acid analysis, and peptide map. It activates bovine brain phosphodiesterase in the presence of calcium but has no effect on the phosphodiesterase of the Arbacia egg. Densitometric scanning of acrylamide gels of arbacia egg homogenates shows the modulator protein to represent 0.1% of the total protein of the egg. At 10(-4) M free calcium, the protein binds four calcium ions per 17,000-dalton molecule. We have used a column of rabbit skeletal muscle troponin-I covalently coupled to Sepharose 4B as an affinity column to selectively purify the Arbacia egg calcium-binding protein. This column has also been used to purify bovine brain modulator protein and may prove of general use in isolating similar proteins from other sources. The technique may be particularly helpful when only small quantities of starting material are available.

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