Dynamic interreceptor coupling: a novel working mechanism of two-dimensional ryanodine receptor array.

, , and . Biophys. J. 92 (4): 1215--1223 (February 2007)


Ryanodine receptors (RyRs) usually form two-dimensional regular array in sarcoplasmic reticulum membranes in muscle cells. The inter-RyRs coupling may be essential for the maintenance of quiescent Ca$^2+$ release in resting state, as well as for the coordinated activation and rapid termination of RyR-mediated Ca$^2+$ release during excitation-contraction coupling. In our previous work, we have reported that the inter-RyRs interaction is modulated by RyR channel's functional state, which inspired us to propose a novel working mechanism of RyR array: "dynamic inter-RyR coupling". In this work, we built a simple model based on cellular automata and the Monte-Carlo method to quantitatively investigate the roles of intermolecular coupling and its modulation in regulating the signaling capabilities of RyR array. Our simulation results showed that with a suitable inter-RyR coupling strength, the combination of rest stability and high response efficiency, namely optimal signal/noise ratio, of Ca$^2+$ signaling could be achieved. Moreover, we also found the continued coupling between open RyRs would delay the system termination rate. The coacquisition of robust termination of array opening relied on the proper decrease of coupling strength between activated RyRs. Obviously, such temporally asymmetric coupling would simultaneously endow the system with physiologically relevant resting stability and fast termination.


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