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J Biol Chem. 2003 Dec 26;278(52):52881-9. Epub 2003 Oct 30.

Three-dimensional rearrangements within inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptor by calcium.

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Laboratory for Developmental Neurobiology, Brain Science Institute, RIKEN (The Institute of Physical and Chemical Research), 2-1 Hirosawa, Wako, Saitama, 351-0198, Japan.


Allosteric binding of calcium ion (Ca2+) to inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP3) receptor (IP3R) controls channel gating within IP3R. Here, we present biochemical and electron microscopic evidence of Ca2+-sensitive structural changes in the three-dimensional structure of type 1 IP3R (IP3R1). Low concentrations of Ca2+ and high concentrations of Sr2+ and Ba2+ were shown to be effective for the limited proteolysis of IP3R1, but Mg2+ had no effect on the proteolysis. The electron microscopy and the limited proteolysis consistently demonstrated that the effective concentration of Ca2+ for conformational changes in IP3R1 was <10(-7) m and that the IP3 scarcely affected the conformational states. The structure of IP3R1 without Ca2+, as reconstructed by three-dimensional electron microscopy, had a "mushroom-like" appearance consisting of a large square-shaped head and a small channel domain linked by four thin bridges. The projection image of the "head-to-head" assembly comprising two particles confirmed the mushroom-like side view. The "windmill-like" form of IP3R1 with Ca2+ also contains the four bridges connecting from the IP3-binding domain toward the channel domain. These data suggest that the Ca2+-specific conformational change structurally regulates the IP3-triggered channel opening within IP3R1.

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