The Francis Crick Institute
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Multiple CaMKII binding modes to the actin cytoskeleton revealed by single-molecule imaging

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journal contribution
posted on 2020-08-12, 13:35 authored by Shahid Khan, Ianina Conte, Tom Carter, K Ulrich Bayer, Justin E Molloy
Localization of the Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) to dendritic spine synapses is determined in part by the actin cytoskeleton. We determined binding of GFP-tagged CaMKII to tag-RFP-labeled actin cytoskeleton within live cells using total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy and single-molecule tracking. Stepwise photobleaching showed that CaMKII formed oligomeric complexes. Photoactivation experiments demonstrated that diffusion out of the evanescent field determined the track lifetimes. Latrunculin treatment triggered a coupled loss of actin stress fibers and the colocalized, long-lived CaMKII tracks. The CaMKIIα (α) isoform, which was previously thought to lack F-actin interactions, also showed binding, but this was threefold weaker than that observed for CaMKIIβ (β). The βE' splice variant bound more weakly than α, showing that binding by β depends critically on the interdomain linker. The mutations βT287D and αT286D, which mimic autophosphorylation states, also abolished F-actin binding. Autophosphorylation triggers autonomous CaMKII activity, but does not impair GluN2B binding, another important synaptic protein interaction of CaMKII. The CaMKII inhibitor tatCN21 or CaMKII mutations that inhibit GluN2B association by blocking binding of ATP (βK43R and αK42M) or Ca(2+)/calmodulin (βA303R) had no effect on the interaction with F-actin. These results provide the first rationale for the reduced synaptic spine localization of the αT286D mutant, indicating that transient F-actin binding contributes to the synaptic localization of the CaMKIIα isoform. The track lifetime distributions had a stretched exponential form consistent with a heterogeneously diffusing population. This heterogeneity suggests that CaMKII adopts different F-actin binding modes, which is most easily rationalized by multiple subunit contacts between the CaMKII dodecamer and the F-actin cytoskeleton that stabilize the initial weak (micromolar) monovalent interaction.