The FEBS journal

Autolytic activity of human calpain 7 is enhanced by ESCRT-III-related protein IST1 through MIT-MIM interaction.

PMID 20849418


Calpain 7, a mammalian ortholog of yeast Cpl1/Rim13 and fungal PalB, is an atypical calpain that lacks a penta-EF-hand domain. Previously, we reported that a region containing a tandem repeat of microtubule-interacting and transport (MIT) domains in calpain 7 interacts with a subset of endosomal sorting complex required for transport (ESCRT)-III-related proteins, suggesting involvement of calpain 7 in the ESCRT system. Although yeast and fungal calpains are thought to be involved in alkaline adaptation via limited proteolysis of specific transcription factors, proteolytic activity of calpain 7 has not been demonstrated yet. In this study, we investigated the interaction between calpain 7 and a newly reported ESCRT-III family member, increased sodium tolerance-1 (IST1), which possesses two different types of MIT-interacting motifs (MIM1 and MIM2). We found that glutathione-S-transferase (GST)-fused tandem MIT domains of calpain 7 (calpain 7MIT) pulled down FLAG-tagged IST1 expressed in HEK293T cells. Coimmunoprecipitation assays with various deletion or point mutants of epitope-tagged calpain 7 and IST1 revealed that both repetitive MIT domains and MIMs are required for efficient interaction. Direct MIT-MIM binding was confirmed by a pulldown experiment with GST-fused IST1 MIM and purified recombinant calpain 7MIT. Furthermore, we found that the GST-MIM protein enhances the autolysis of purified Strep-tagged monomeric green fluorescent protein (mGFP)-fused calpain 7 (mGFP-calpain 7-Strep). The autolysis was almost completely abolished by 10 mmN-ethylmaleimide but only partially inhibited by 1 mm leupeptin or E-64. The putative catalytic Cys290-substituted mutant (mGFP-calpain 7(C290S)-Strep) showed no autolytic activity. These results demonstrate for the first time that human calpain 7 is proteolytically active, and imply that calpain 7 is activated in the ESCRT system.