Ryanodine receptors: structure and macromolecular interactions.

, and . Curr. Opin. Struct. Biol. 7 (2): 258--265 (April 1997)


Ryanodine receptors (RyRs), a class of intracellular calcium release channels, are the largest ion channels known. Recently, cryoelectron microscopy and image reconstructions of isolated receptors have shown that most of the protein mass forms a porous, multidomain cytoplasmic assembly. Evidence is mounting that suggests that the cytoplasmic assembly communicates with the transmembrane regions over distances of 100 or greater. RyRs are centrally important in excitation-contraction coupling, which occurs at specialized regions where the sarcoplasmic reticulum, containing the RyRs, and the plasma membrane/transverse-tubule system form junctions. Numerous proteins are present at these junctions, some of which interact directly with the RyR.


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