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J Membr Biol. 1997 Apr 1;156(3):213-29.

Magnesium inhibition of ryanodine-receptor calcium channels: evidence for two independent mechanisms.

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Muscle Research Group, Division of Neuroscience, John Curtin School of Medical Research, Australian National University, GPO Box 334, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia.


The gating of ryanodine receptor calcium release channels (RyRs) depends on myoplasmic Ca2+ and Mg2+ concentrations. RyRs from skeletal and cardiac muscle are activated by microm Ca2+ and inhibited by mm Ca2+ and Mg2+. 45Ca2+ release from skeletal SR vesicles suggests two mechanisms for Mg2+-inhibition (Meissner, Darling & Eveleth, 1986, Biochemistry 25:236-244). The present study investigates the nature of these mechanisms using measurements of single-channel activity from cardiac- and skeletal RyRs incorporated into planar lipid bilayers. Our measurements of Mg2+- and Ca2+-dependent gating kinetics confirm that there are two mechanisms for Mg2+ inhibition (Type I and II inhibition) in skeletal and cardiac RyRs. The mechanisms operate concurrently, are independent and are associated with different parts of the channel protein. Mg2+ reduces Po by competing with Ca2+ for the activation site (Type-I) or binding to more than one, and probably two low affinity inhibition sites which do not discriminate between Ca2+ and Mg2+ (Type-II). The relative contributions of the two inhibition mechanisms to the total Mg2+ effect depend on cytoplasmic [Ca2+] in such a way that Mg2+ inhibition has the properties of Types-I and II inhibition at low and high [Ca2+] respectively. Both mechanisms are equally important when [Ca2+] = 10 microm in cardiac RyRs or 1 microm in skeletal RyRs. We show that Type-I inhibition is not the sole mechanism responsible for Mg2+ inhibition, as is often assumed, and we discuss the physiological implications of this finding.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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