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Biophys J. 2000 Apr;78(4):1810-24.

Role of Mg(2+) in Ca(2+)-induced Ca(2+) release through ryanodine receptors of frog skeletal muscle: modulations by adenine nucleotides and caffeine.

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Department of Pharmacology, Juntendo University School of Medicine, Tokyo 113-8421, Japan.


Mg(2+) serves as a competitive antagonist against Ca(2+) in the high-affinity Ca(2+) activation site (A-site) and as an agonist of Ca(2+) in the low-affinity Ca(2+) inactivation site (I-site) of the ryanodine receptor (RyR), which mediates Ca(2+)-induced Ca(2+) release (CICR). This paper presents the quantitative determination of the affinities for Ca(2+) and Mg(2+) of A- and I-sites of RyR in frog skeletal muscles by measuring [(3)H]ryanodine binding to purified alpha- and beta-RyRs and CICR activity in skinned fibers. There was only a minor difference in affinity at most between alpha- and beta-RyRs. The A-site favored Ca(2+) 20- to 30-fold over Mg(2+), whereas the I-site was nonselective between the two cations. The RyR in situ showed fivefold higher affinities for Ca(2+) and Mg(2+) of both sites than the purified alpha- and beta-RyRs with unchanged cation selectivity. Adenine nucleotides, whose stimulating effect was found to be indistinguishable between free and complexed forms, did not alter the affinities for cations in either site, except for the increased maximum activity of RyR. Caffeine increased not only the affinity of the A-site for Ca(2+) alone, but also the maximum activity of RyR with otherwise minor changes. The results presented here suggest that the rate of CICR in frog skeletal muscles appears to be too low to explain the physiological Ca(2+) release, even though Mg(2+) inhibition disappears.

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