Ryanodine receptor point mutant E4032A reveals an allosteric interaction with ryanodine

James D. Fessenden, Lili Chen, Yaming Wang, Cecilia Paolini, Clara Franzini-Armstrong, Paul D. Allen, Isaac N Pessah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


The ryanodine receptor (RyR) family of proteins constitutes a unique type of calcium channel that mediates Ca2+ release from endoplasmic reticulum/sarcoplasmic reticulum stores. Ryanodine has been widely used to identify contributions made by the RyR to signaling in both muscle and nonmuscle cells. Ryanodine, through binding to high- and low-affinity sites, has been suggested to block the channel pore based on its ability to induce partial conductance states and irreversible inhibition. We examined the effect of ryanodine on an RyR type 1 (RyR1) point mutant (E4032A) that exhibits a severely compromised phenotype. When expressed in 1B5 (RyR null/dyspedic) myotubes, E4032A is relatively unresponsive to stimulation by cell membrane depolarization or RyR agonists, although the full-length protein is correctly targeted to junctions and interacts with dihydropyridine receptors (DHPRs) inducing their arrangement into tetrads. However, treatment of E4032A-expressing cells with 200-500 μM ryanodine, concentrations that rapidly activate and then inhibit wild-type (wt) RyR1, restores the responsiveness of E4032A-expressing myotubes to depolarization and RyR agonists. Moreover, the restored E4032A channels remain resistant to subsequent exposure to ryanodine. In single-channel studies, E4032A exhibits infrequent (channel-open probability, Po < 0.005) and brief (<250 μs) gating events and insensitivity to Ca2+. Addition of ryanodine restores Ca2+-dependent channel activity exhibiting full, 3/4, 1/2, and 1/4 substates. This evidence suggests that, whereas ryanodine does not occlude the RyR pore, it does bind to sites that allosterically induce substantial conformational changes in the RyR. In the case of E4032A, these changes overcome unfavorable energy barriers introduced by the E4032A mutation to restore channel function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2865-2870
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number5
StatePublished - Feb 27 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • General


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