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Biophys J. 1998 Aug;75(2):834-9.

Isoform-specific function of single inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptor channels.

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  • 1Loyola University Chicago, Stritch School of Medicine, Department of Physiology, and Cardiovascular Institute, Maywood, Illinois 60153 USA.


The inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptor (InsP3R) family of Ca2+ release channels is central to intracellular Ca2+ signaling in mammalian cells. The InsP3R channels release Ca2+ from intracellular compartments to generate localized Ca2+ transients that govern a myriad of cellular signaling phenomena (Berridge, 1993. Nature. 361:315-325; Joseph, 1996. Cell Signal. 8:1-7; Kume et al., 1997. Science. 278:1940-1943; Berridge, 1997. Nature. 368:759-760). express multiple InsP3R isoforms, but only the function of the single type 1 InsP3R channel is known. Here the single-channel function of single type 2 InsP3R channel is defined for the first time. The type 2 InsP3R forms channels with permeation properties similar to that of the type 1 receptor. The InsP3 regulation and Ca2+ regulation of type 1 and type 2 InsP3R channels are strikingly different. Both InsP3 and Ca2+ are more effective at activating single type 2 InsP3R, indicating that single type 2 channels mobilize substantially more Ca2+ than single type 1 channels in cells. Furthermore, high cytoplasmic Ca2+ concentrations inactivate type 1, but not type 2, InsP3R channels. This indicates that type 2 InsP3R channel is different from the type 1 channel in that its activity will not be inherently self-limiting, because Ca2+ passing through an active type 2 channel cannot feed back and turn the channel off. Thus the InsP3R identity will help define the spatial and temporal nature of local Ca2+ signaling events and may contribute to the segregation of parallel InsP3 signaling cascades in mammalian cells.

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