The Biochemical journal

Structure-function relationship in annexin A13, the founder member of the vertebrate family of annexins.

PMID 15813707


Annexin A13 is considered the original progenitor of the 11 other members of vertebrate annexins, a superfamily of calcium/phospholipid-binding proteins. It is highly tissue-specific, being expressed only in intestinal and kidney epithelial cells. Alternative splicing generates two isoforms, both of which bind to rafts. In view of the lack of structural information supporting the physiological role of this annexin subfamily, we have cloned, expressed and purified human annexin A13b to investigate its structural and functional properties. The N-terminus of annexin A13b: (i) destabilizes the conserved protein core, as deduced from the low melting temperature in the absence (44 degrees C) or presence of calcium (55 degrees C), and (ii) impairs calcium-dependent binding to acidic phospholipids, requiring calcium concentrations >400 microM. Truncation of the N-terminus restores thermal stability and decreases the calcium requirement for phospholipid binding, confirming its essential role in the structure-function relationship of this annexin. Non-myristoylated annexin A13b only binds to acidic phospholipids at high calcium concentrations. We show for the first time that myristoylation of annexin A13b enables the direct binding to phosphatidylcholine, raft-like liposomes and acidic phospholipids in a calcium-independent manner. The conformational switch induced by calcium binding, from a 'closed' to an 'open' conformation with exposure of Trp227, can be mimicked by a decrease in pH, a process that may be relevant for membrane interactions. Our studies confirm that the common structural and functional characteristics that are dependent on the protein core of vertebrate annexins are likely to be common conserved features, whereas their variable N-termini confer distinct functional properties on annexins, as we report for myristoylation of annexin A13b.