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Int J Cell Biol. 2009;2009:340346. doi: 10.1155/2009/340346. Epub 2010 Mar 14.

Alteration of sarcoplasmic reticulum ca release in skeletal muscle from calpain 3-deficient mice.

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Department of Cellular Neurophysiology, Institute of Experimental Medicine, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, European Union Centre of Excellence, Videnska 1083, 142 20 Prague 4, Czech Republic.


Mutations of Ca(2+)-activated proteases (calpains) cause muscular dystrophies. Nevertheless, the specific role of calpains in Ca(2+) signalling during the onset of dystrophies remains unclear. We investigated Ca(2+) handling in skeletal cells from calpain 3-deficient mice. [Ca(2+)](i) responses to caffeine, a ryanodine receptor (RyR) agonist, were decreased in -/- myotubes and absent in -/- myoblasts. The -/- myotubes displayed smaller amplitudes of the Ca(2+) transients induced by cyclopiazonic acid in comparison to wild type cells. Inhibition of L-type Ca(2+) channels (LCC) suppressed the caffeine-induced [Ca(2+)](i) responses in -/- myotubes. Hence, the absence of calpain 3 modifies the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) Ca(2+) release, by a decrease of the SR content, an impairment of RyR signalling, and an increase of LCC activity. We propose that calpain 3-dependent proteolysis plays a role in activating support proteins of intracellular Ca(2+) signalling at a stage of cellular differentiation which is crucial for skeletal muscle regeneration.

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