Detyrosination is a major post-translational modification of microtubules (MTs), which has significant impact on MT function in cell division, differentiation, growth, migration and intracellular trafficking. Detyrosination of α-tubulin occurs mostly via the recently identified complex of vasohibin 1 or 2 (VASH1 and VASH2, respectively) with small vasohibin binding protein (SVBP). However, there is still remaining detyrosinating activity in the absence of VASH1 and/or VASH2 and SVBP, and little is known about the regulation of detyrosination. Here, we found that intracellular Ca2+ is required for efficient MT detyrosination. Furthermore, we show that the Ca2+-dependent proteases calpains 1 and 2 (CAPN1 and CAPN2, respectively) regulate MT detyrosination in VASH1- and SVBP-overexpressing human embryonic kidney (HEK293T) cells. We identified new calpain cleavage sites in the N-terminal disordered region of VASH1. However, this cleavage did not affect the enzymatic activity of vasohibins. In conclusion, we suggest that the regulation of VASH1-mediated MT detyrosination by calpains could occur independently of vasohibin catalytic activity or via another yet unknown tubulin carboxypeptidase. Importantly, the Ca2+ dependency of calpains could allow a fine regulation of MT detyrosination. Thus, identifying the calpain-regulated pathway of MT detyrosination can be of major importance for basic and clinical research.

You do not currently have access to this content.