Send to

Choose Destination
J Physiol. 2016 Jun 1;594(11):2867-76. doi: 10.1113/JP271140. Epub 2015 Dec 7.

Proteolytic fragmentation of inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptors: a novel mechanism regulating channel activity?

Author information

Department of Pharmacology and Physiology, University of Rochester, 601 Elmwood Avenue, Rochester, NY, 14642, USA.


Inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptors (IP3 Rs) are a family of ubiquitously expressed intracellular Ca(2+) release channels. Regulation of channel activity by Ca(2+) , nucleotides, phosphorylation, protein binding partners and other cellular factors is thought to play a major role in defining the specific spatiotemporal characteristics of intracellular Ca(2+) signals. These properties are, in turn, believed pivotal for the selective and specific physiological activation of Ca(2+) -dependent effectors. IP3 Rs are also substrates for the intracellular cysteine proteases, calpain and caspase. Cleavage of the IP3 R has been proposed to play a role in apoptotic cell death by uncoupling regions important for IP3 binding from the channel domain, leaving an unregulated leaky Ca(2+) pore. Contrary to this hypothesis, we demonstrate following proteolysis that N- and C-termini of IP3 R1 remain associated, presumably through non-covalent interactions. Further, we show that complementary fragments of IP3 R1 assemble into tetrameric structures and retain their ability to be regulated robustly by IP3 . While peptide continuity is clearly not necessary for IP3 -gating of the channel, we propose that cleavage of the IP3 R peptide chain may alter other important regulatory events to modulate channel activity. In this scenario, stimulation of the cleaved IP3 R may support distinct spatiotemporal Ca(2+) signals and activation of specific effectors. Notably, in many adaptive physiological events, the non-apoptotic activities of caspase and calpain are demonstrated to be important, but the substrates of the proteases are poorly defined. We speculate that proteolytic fragmentation may represent a novel form of IP3 R regulation, which plays a role in varied adaptive physiological processes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center