Identification of a neuronal calcium sensor (NCS-1) possibly involved in the regulation of receptor phosphorylation

S. Nef*, H. Fiumelli, E. de Castro, M. B. Raest, P. Nef

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


Persistent stimulation of G protein-coupled receptors by agonists leads rapidly to reduced responses, a phenomenon described as desensitization. It involves primarily the phosphorylation of receptor sites by specific kinases of the G protein-coupled receptor kinase (GRK) family. The βadrenergic receptor kinase 1 (GRK2) desensitizes agonist-activated β2-adrenergic receptors, whereas rhodopsin kinase (GRK1) phosphorylates and inactivates photon-activated rhodopsin. Little is known about the role of calcium in desensitization. Here we report the characterization of a novel neuronal calcium sensor (NCS) named NCS-1 possibly involved in the regulation of receptor phosphorylation. NCS-1 is a new member of the EF-hand superfamily, which includes calmodulin, troponin C, parvalbumin, and recoverins. By Northern analysis and in situ hybridization, we discovered that NCS-1 is specifically expressed in the central and peripheral nervous systems. Chick NCS-1 has 72% of amino acid identity with Drosophila frequenin, a protein found in the nervous system and at the motor nerve terminals of neuromuscular junctions. By analogy with the reported function for two other members of the NCS family, we discuss whether G protein-coupled receptors or GRKs are the targets of neuronal calcium sensors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)365-378
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Receptors and Signal Transduction
Issue number1-4
StatePublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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