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J Cell Biol. 1996 Aug;134(4):885-93.

unc-68 encodes a ryanodine receptor involved in regulating C. elegans body-wall muscle contraction.

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  • 1Department of Genetics, University of Wisconsin, Madison 53706, USA.

Abstract

Striated muscle contraction is elicited by the release of stored calcium ions through ryanodine receptor channels in the sarcoplasmic reticulum. ryr-1 is a C. elegans ryanodine receptor homologue that is expressed in body-wall muscle cells used for locomotion. Using genetic methods, we show that ryr-1 is the previously identified locus unc-68. First, transposon-induced deletions within ryr-1 are alleles of unc-68. Second, transformation of unc-68 mutants with ryr-1 genomic DNA results in rescue of the Unc phenotype. unc-68 mutants move poorly, exhibiting an incomplete flaccid paralysis, yet have normal muscle ultrastructure. The mutants are insensitive to the paralytic effects of ryanodine, and lack detectable ryanodine-binding activity. The Unc-68 phenotype suggests that ryanodine receptors are not essential for excitation-contraction coupling in nematodes, but act to amplify a (calcium) signal that is sufficient for contraction.

PMID:
8769414
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2120954
Free PMC Article
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