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J Biol Chem. 1995 Feb 3;270(5):2074-81.

Phosphorylation modulates the function of the calcium release channel of sarcoplasmic reticulum from cardiac muscle.

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  • 1Institute for Biophysics, University of Linz, Austria.


The cardiac calcium release channel (CRC) of sarcoplasmic reticulum vesicles was incorporated into planar lipid membranes to evaluate modulation of channel activity by phosphorylation and dephosphorylation. For this purpose a microsyringe application directly to the membrane was used to achieve sequential and multiple treatments of channels with highly purified kinases and phosphatases. Cyclic application of protein kinase A (PKA) or Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CalPK) and potato acid phosphatase or protein phosphatase 1 revealed a channel block by Mg2+ (-mM), that is referable to dephosphorylated states of the channel, and that the Mg2+ block could be removed by phosphorylation of the CRC by either PKA or CalPK. By contrast, activation of endogenous CalPK (end CalPK) led to channel closure which could be reversed by dephosphorylation using potato acid phosphatase or protein phosphatase 1. Calmodulin by itself (which activates end CalPK in the presence of MgATP) blocks the channel in the dephosphorylated state, which can be overcome by treatment with CalPK but not PKA. Our findings reveal important insights regarding channel regulation of the ryanodine receptor: 1) the calcium release channel must be phosphorylated to be in the active state at conditions approximating physiological Mg2+ concentrations (-mM); and 2) there are multiple sites of phosphorylation on the calcium release channel with different functional consequences, which may be relevant to the regulation of E-C coupling. Phosphorylation of the CRC may be involved in recruitment of active channels, and/or it may be directly involved in each Ca2+ contraction cycle of the heart. For example, Ca2+ release may require phosphorylation of the CRC by protein kinases at sites which overcome the block by Mg2+. Inactivation may involve CRC block by calmodulin and/or phosphorylation by endogenous CalPK at the junctional face membrane.

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