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J Cell Sci. 2001 Oct;114(Pt 20):3673-83.

IP(3) receptor function and localization in myotubes: an unexplored Ca(2+) signaling pathway in skeletal muscle.

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Department of Biological Sciences, Smith College, Northampton, MA 01063, USA.


We present evidence for an unexplored inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate-mediated Ca(2+) signaling pathway in skeletal muscle. RT-PCR methods confirm expression of all three known isotypes of the inositol trisphosphate receptor in cultured rodent muscle. Confocal microscopy of cultured mouse muscle, doubly labeled for inositol receptor type 1 and proteins of known distribution, reveals that the receptors are localized to the I band of the sarcoplasmic reticulum, and this staining is continuous with staining of the nuclear envelope region. These results suggest that the receptors are positioned to mediate a slowly propagating Ca(2+) wave that follows the fast Ca(2+) transient upon K(+) depolarization. This slow wave, imaged using fluo-3, resulted in an increase in nucleoplasmic Ca(2+) lasting tens of seconds, but not contraction; the slow wave was blocked by both the inositol trisphosphate receptor inhibitor 2-aminoethoxydiphenyl borate and the phospholipase C inhibitor U-73122. To test the hypothesis that these slow Ca(2+) signals are involved in signal cascades leading to regulation of gene expression, we assayed for early effects of K(+) depolarization on mitogen-activated protein kinases, specifically extracellular-signal related kinases 1 and 2 and the transcription factor cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB). Within 30-60 seconds following depolarization, phosphorylation of both the kinases and CREB was evident and could be inhibited by 2-aminoethoxydiphenyl borate. These results suggest a signaling system mediated by Ca(2+) and inositol trisphosphate that could regulate gene expression in muscle cells.

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