The relationship of the kinase which co-purifies with caldesmon to Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaM-kinase II) was investigated by studying the phosphorylation of bovine brain synapsin I, as well-characterized substrate of CaM-kinase II. Synapsin I is a very good substrate (Km = 90 nM) of the co-purifying kinase, which phosphorylates two sites in synapsin I, both of which are distinct from the single site phosphorylated by cyclic-AMP-dependent protein kinase. Phosphorylation of synapsin I is Ca2(+)- and calmodulin-dependent: half-maximal activation occurs at 0.13 microM-Ca2+ and maximal activity at 0.4 microM-Ca2+. Phosphorylation of the co-purifying kinase slightly enhances the rate, but does not alter the stoichiometry, of subsequent synapsin I phosphorylation; it does, however, circumvent the requirement for Ca2+ and calmodulin. The properties of this kinase therefore closely resemble those of CaM-kinase II, and we conclude that it is probably a smooth-muscle isoenzyme of CaM-kinase II.
- © 1990 London: The Biochemical Society