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J Cell Biol. 2001 May 14;153(4):699-708.

Phosphorylation-dependent regulation of ryanodine receptors: a novel role for leucine/isoleucine zippers.

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Center for Molecular Cardiology, Department of Medicine, College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University, 630 West 168th St., New York, NY 10032, USA.


Ryanodine receptors (RyRs), intracellular calcium release channels required for cardiac and skeletal muscle contraction, are macromolecular complexes that include kinases and phosphatases. Phosphorylation/dephosphorylation plays a key role in regulating the function of many ion channels, including RyRs. However, the mechanism by which kinases and phosphatases are targeted to ion channels is not well understood. We have identified a novel mechanism involved in the formation of ion channel macromolecular complexes: kinase and phosphatase targeting proteins binding to ion channels via leucine/isoleucine zipper (LZ) motifs. Activation of kinases and phosphatases bound to RyR2 via LZs regulates phosphorylation of the channel, and disruption of kinase binding via LZ motifs prevents phosphorylation of RyR2. Elucidation of this new role for LZs in ion channel macromolecular complexes now permits: (a) rapid mapping of kinase and phosphatase targeting protein binding sites on ion channels; (b) predicting which kinases and phosphatases are likely to regulate a given ion channel;

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