Extraction of demembranated cilia of Tetrahymena by Tris-EDTA (denoted by the suffix E) yields 14S-E and 30S-E dyneins with ATPase activities that are slightly increased by Ca++. This effect is moderately potentiated when bovine brain calmodulin is added to the assay mixture. Extraction with 0.5 M KCl (denoted by the suffix K) yeilds a 14S-K dynein with a low basal ATPase activity in the presence of Ca++. Subsequent addition of calmodulin causes marked activation (up to 10-fold) of ATPase activity. Although 14S-K and 14S-E dyneins have Ca++-dependent ATPase activities that differ markedly in the degree of activation, the concentration of calmodulin required for half-maximal saturation is similar for both, approximately 0.1 microM. Both 30S-K and 30S-E dyneins, however, require approximately 0.7 microM bovine brain calmodulin to reach half-maximal activation of their Ca++-dependent ATPase activities. Tetrahymena calmodulin is as effective as bovine brain calmodulin in activating 30S dynein , but may be slightly less effective than the brain calmodulin in activating 14S dynein. Rabbit skeletal muscle troponin C also activates the Ca++-dependent ATPase activity of 30S dynein and, to a lesser extent, that of 14S dynein, but in both cases is less effective than calmodulin. The interaction of calmodulin with dynein that results in ATPase activation is largely complete in less than 1 min, and is prevented by the presence of low concentrations of ATP. Adenylyl imidodiphosphate can partially prevent activation of dynein ATPase by calmodulin plus Ca++, but at much higher concentrations than required for prevention by ATP. beta, gamma-methyl-adenosine triphosphate appears not to prevent this activation. The presence of Ca++-dependent calmodulin-binding sites on 14S and 30S dyneins was demonstrated by the Ca++-dependent retention of the dyneins on a calmodulin-Sepharose-4B column. Gel electrophoresis of 14S dynein that had been purified by the affinity-chromatography procedure showed that presence of two major and one minor high molecular weight components. Similar analysis of 30S dynein purified by this procedure also revealed on major and one minor high molecular weight components that were different from the major components of 14S dynein. Ca++-dependent binding sites for calmodulin were shown to be present on axonemes that had been extracted twice with Tris-EDTA or with 0.5 M KCl by the use of 35S-labeled Tetrahymena calmodulin. It is concluded that the 14S and 30S dyneins of Tetrahymena contain Ca++-dependent binding sites for calmodulin and the calmodulin mediates the Ca++-regulation of the dynein ATPases of Tetrahymena cilia.

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