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Biophys J. 1999 Dec;77(6):2953-67.

Involvement of the carboxy-terminus region of the dihydropyridine receptor beta1a subunit in excitation-contraction coupling of skeletal muscle.

Author information

1
Department of Physiology, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine, Madison, Wisconsin 53706, USA.

Abstract

Skeletal muscle knockout cells lacking the beta subunit of the dihydropyridine receptor (DHPR) are devoid of slow L-type Ca(2+) current, charge movements, and excitation-contraction coupling, despite having a normal Ca(2+) storage capacity and Ca(2+) spark activity. In this study we identified a specific region of the missing beta1a subunit critical for the recovery of excitation-contraction. Experiments were performed in beta1-null myotubes expressing deletion mutants of the skeletal muscle-specific beta1a, the cardiac/brain-specific beta2a, or beta2a/beta1a chimeras. Immunostaining was used to determine that all beta constructs were expressed in these cells. We examined the Ca(2+) conductance, charge movements, and Ca(2+) transients measured by confocal fluo-3 fluorescence of transfected myotubes under whole-cell voltage-clamp. All constructs recovered an L-type Ca(2+) current with a density, voltage-dependence, and kinetics of activation similar to that recovered by full-length beta1a. In addition, all constructs except beta2a mutants recovered charge movements with a density similar to full-length beta1a. Thus, all beta constructs became integrated into a skeletal-type DHPR and, except for beta2a mutants, all restored functional DHPRs to the cell surface at a high density. The maximum amplitude of the Ca(2+) transient was not affected by separate deletions of the N-terminus of beta1a or the central linker region of beta1a connecting two highly conserved domains. Also, replacement of the N-terminus half of beta1a with that of beta2a had no effect. However, deletion of 35 residues of beta1a at the C-terminus produced a fivefold reduction in the maximum amplitude of the Ca(2+) transients. A similar observation was made by deletion of the C-terminus of a chimera in which the C-terminus half was from beta1a. The identified domain at the C-terminus of beta1a may be responsible for colocalization of DHPRs and ryanodine receptors (RyRs), or may be required for the signal that opens the RyRs during excitation-contraction coupling. This new role of DHPR beta in excitation-contraction coupling represents a cell-specific function that could not be predicted on the basis of functional expression studies in heterologous cells.

PMID:
10585919
PMCID:
PMC1300568
DOI:
10.1016/S0006-3495(99)77128-6
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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