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Neuroscience. 1998 Jul;85(1):205-16.

Partial cloning and differential expression of ryanodine receptor/calcium-release channel genes in human tissues including the hippocampus and cerebellum.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, University of Edinburgh, UK.


Cellular Ca2+ signalling is an important factor in the control of neuronal metabolism and electrical activity. Although the roles of Ca2+-release channels are well established for skeletal and cardiac muscle, less is known about their expression and roles in the central nervous system, especially in the human brain. We have isolated partial complementary DNAs derived from the human ryanodine receptor Ca2+-release channel genes (ryr1, ryr2 and ryr3), and examined their expression in the human hippocampus and cerebellum. For comparison, we have included in our analysis an inositol trisphosphate Ca2+-release channel type I complementary RNA probe. All four messenger RNAs show widespread distribution in the human hippocampus, where ryr2 is the most abundant isoform, and all four are expressed in the human cerebellum. However, striking differences were seen between ryr and inositol trisphosphate Ca2+-release channel type I complementary RNA expression in the cerebellum, with inositol trisphosphate Ca2+-release channel type I messenger RNA being largely restricted to, and very highly expressed, in Purkinje cells, whereas ryr1, ryr2 and ryr3 were all expressed predominantly in the granular layer. The widespread expression of ryr isoforms in the human hippocampus and cerebellum suggests that ryanodine receptor proteins may have a central role in Ca2+ signalling and Ca2+ homeostasis in the human central nervous system. These may include roles in fundamental processes like synaptic plasticity. Furthermore, these Ca2+-release channels may be involved in pathogenic processes such as excitotoxicity, where excessive rises in intracellular Ca2+ concentration mediate neuronal cell death.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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