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Biophys J. 2005 Jul;89(1):256-65. Epub 2005 Apr 29.

Probing the role of negatively charged amino acid residues in ion permeation of skeletal muscle ryanodine receptor.

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Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599-7260, USA.


Sequence comparison suggests that the ryanodine receptors (RyRs) have pore architecture similar to that of the bacterial K+ channel KcsA. The lumenal loop linking the two most C-terminal transmembrane spanning segments in the RyRs has a predicted pore helix and an amino acid motif (GGGIG) similar to the selectivity filter (TVGYG) of KcsA identified by x-ray analysis. The RyRs have many negatively charged amino acid residues in the two regions linking the GGGIG motif and predicted pore helix with the two most C-terminal transmembrane spanning segments. We tested the role of these residues by generating single-site mutants, focusing on amino acid residues conserved among the mammalian RyRs. Replacement of two acidic residues immediately after the GGGIG motif in skeletal muscle ryanodine receptor (RyR1-D4899 and -E4900) with asparagine and glutamine profoundly affected ion permeation and selectivity. By comparison, mutagenesis of aspartate and glutamate residues in the putative linker regions showed a K+ conductance and selectivity for Ca2+ compared to K+ (P(Ca)/P(K)) close to wild-type. The results show that the negatively charged carboxyl oxygens of D4899 and E4900 side chains are major determinants of RyR ion conductance and selectivity.

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