Coupled gating between cardiac calcium release channels (ryanodine receptors).
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Circ. Res. 88 (11): 1151--1158 (June 2001)

Excitation-contraction coupling in heart muscle requires the activation of Ca$^2+$-release channels/type 2 ryanodine receptors (RyR2s) by Ca$^2+$ influx. RyR2s are arranged on the sarcoplasmic reticular membrane in closely packed arrays such that their large cytoplasmic domains contact one another. We now show that multiple RyR2s can be isolated under conditions such that they remain physically coupled to one another. When these coupled channels are examined in planar lipid bilayers, multiple channels exhibit simultaneous gating, termed "coupled gating." Removal of the regulatory subunit, the FK506 binding protein (FKBP12.6), functionally but not physically uncouples multiple RyR2 channels. Coupled gating between RyR2 channels may be an important regulatory mechanism in excitation-contraction coupling as well as in other signaling pathways involving intracellular Ca$^2+$ release.
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