The peptide DCRQKWKCCKKGSG [myotoxin-(29-42)], corresponding to residues 29-42 of myotoxin a, inhibits the activity of the Ca(2+)-ATPase of skeletal muscle sarcoplasmic reticulum, with a Kd value of 19.4 microM at pH 7.5, in 100 mM KCl. The peptide YKQCHKKGGHCFPKEK, corresponding to residues 1-16 of myotoxin a, is a less potent inhibitor. Inhibition by myotoxin-(29-42) is reduced at low pH and at high ionic strength, suggesting that charge interactions are important in binding to the ATPase. Inhibition of the ATPase has been shown to follow from a decrease in the rate of dephosphorylation, with no effect on the rate of phosphorylation of the ATPase or on the rate of the Ca2+ transport step (E1PCa2-->E2P). Binding of myotoxin-(29-42) decreased the affinity of the ATPase for Ca2+ and Mg2+, and increased the rate of dissociation of the outer Ca2+ ion from the ATPase. Unlike the amphipathic peptide melittin, it is suggested that myotoxin-(29-42) does not bind significantly to the lipid bilayer portion of the sarcoplasmic reticulum. Fluorescence quenching studies suggest that it could bind to the ATPase in the vicinity of Cys-344 in the phosphorylation domain and Lys-515 in the nucleotide binding domain. Inhibition of the ATPase is observed when the ATPase is reconstituted in monomeric form in sealed vesicles, suggesting that aggregation of the ATPase is not involved in inhibition.

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