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J Biol Chem. 2006 Nov 10;281(45):34086-95. Epub 2006 Sep 13.

Ryanodine receptors in liver.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology and Physiology, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Newark, New Jersey 07103, USA.


The ryanodine receptor has been mainly regarded as the Ca2+ release channel from sarcoplasmic reticulum controlling skeletal and cardiac muscle contraction. However, many studies have shown that it is widely expressed, with functions not restricted to muscular contraction. This study examined whether ryanodine receptor plays a role in calcium signaling in the liver. RT-PCR analysis of isolated hepatocytes showed expression of a truncated type 1 ryanodine receptor, but no type 2 or type 3 message was detected. We also detected binding sites for [3H]ryanodine in the microsomal cellular fraction and in permeabilized hepatocytes. This binding was displaced by caffeine and dantrolene, but not by ruthenium red, heparin or cyclic ADP-Ribose. Ryanodine, by itself, did not trigger Ca2+ oscillations in either primary cultured hepatocytes or hepatocytes within the intact perfused rat liver. In both preparations, however, ryanodine significantly increased the frequency of the cytosolic free [Ca2+] oscillations evoked by an alpha1 adrenergic receptor agonist. Experiments in permeabilized hepatocytes showed that both ryanodine and cyclic ADP-ribose evoked a slow Ca2+ leak from intracellular stores and were able to increase the Ca2+-released response to a subthreshold dose of inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate. Our findings suggest the presence of a novel truncated form of the type 1 ryanodine receptor in rat hepatocytes. Ryanodine modulates the pattern of cytosolic free [Ca2+] oscillations by increasing oscillation frequency. We propose that the Ca2+ released from ryanodine receptors on the endoplasmic reticulum provides an increased pool of Ca2+ for positive feedback on inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptors.

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