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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

A proton gradient controls a calcium-release channel in sarcoplasmic reticulum.

Sarcoplasmic reticulum vesicles from mammalian skeletal muscle have previously been shown to develop a proton gradient (alkaline inside) of 0.15-0.5 pH units during active Ca2+ uptake. We found that dissipation of this gradient by the proton ionophores gramicidin, nigericin, and carbonyl cyanide p-trichloromethoxyphenylhydrazone caused a rapid transient tension in skinned rabbit psoas muscle fibers. Increases, but not decreases, in medium pH of approximately 0.2 units over the range from pH 6.5 to pH 7.5 also elicited transient tensions. In isolated vesicles, physiological levels of Ca2+ (3.3 microM), inhibited pH-induced Ca2+ release. Dicyclohexylcarbodiimide blocked pH- and ionophore-induced Ca2+ release under conditions in which it could bind to sarcoplasmic reticulum proteins but did not inhibit Ca2+ uptake. We propose that a proton gradient generated across sarcoplasmic reticulum membranes during Ca2+ uptake maintains a Ca2+ release channel in a closed conformation and that dissipation of this gradient permits the Ca2+ release channel to open. We further propose that elevated myoplasmic Ca2+ also causes the Ca2+ channel to close, permitting Ca2+ uptake through Ca2+/Mg2+-ATPase to function effectively. As the proteolipids of sarcoplasmic reticulum bind dicyclohexylcarbodiimide under conditions in which Ca2+ release is blocked and as they have previously been shown to have Ca2+ ionophoric activity, we propose that the Ca2+-release channel either resides in the proteolipids or is controlled by H+ fluxes through the proteolipids.[1]


  1. A proton gradient controls a calcium-release channel in sarcoplasmic reticulum. Shoshan, V., MacLennan, D.H., Wood, D.S. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1981) [Pubmed]
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