Characterization of sarcoplasmic calcium binding protein (SCP) variants from freshwater crayfish Procambarus clarkii

Alexandra J. White, Michael J. Northcutt, Suzanne E. Rohrback, Robert O. Carpenter, Margaret M. Niehaus-Sauter, Yongping Gao, Michele G. Wheatly, Christopher M. Gillen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Sarcoplasmic calcium binding protein (SCP) is an invertebrate EF-hand calcium buffering protein that has been proposed to fulfill a similar function in muscle relaxation as vertebrate parvalbumin. We have identified three SCP variants in the freshwater crayfish Procambarus clarkii. The variants (pcSCP1a, pcSCP1b, and pcSCP1c) differ across a 37 amino acid region that lies mainly between the second and third EF-hand calcium binding domains. We evaluated tissue distribution and response of the variants to cold exposure, a stress known to affect expression of parvalbumin. Expression patterns of the variants were not different and therefore do not provide a functional rationale for the polymorphism of pcSCP1. Compared to hepatopancreas, expression of pcSCP1 variants was 100,000-fold greater in axial abdominal muscle and 10-fold greater in cardiac muscle. Expression was 10-100 greater in fast-twitch deep flexor and extensor muscles compared to slow-twitch superficial flexor and extensors. In axial muscle, no significant changes of pcSCP1, calmodulin (CaM), or sarcoplasmic/endoplasmic reticulum Ca-ATPase (SERCA) expression were measured after one week of 4 °C exposure. In contrast, large decreases of pcSCP1 were measured in cardiac muscle, with no changes in CaM or SERCA. Knockdown of pcSCP1 by dsRNA led to reduced muscle activity and decreased expression of SERCA. In summary, the pattern of pcSCP1 tissue expression is similar to parvalbumin, supporting a role in muscle contraction. However, the response of pcSCP1 to cold exposure differs from parvalbumin, suggesting possible functional divergence between the two proteins.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8-14
Number of pages7
JournalComparative Biochemistry and Physiology - B Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Alternative splicing
  • Cold
  • Muscle
  • RNAi

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Aquatic Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Molecular Biology


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