Novel model of calcium and inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate regulation of InsP3 receptor channel gating in native endoplasmic reticulum
The InsP3R Ca2+-release channel has biphasic dependence on cytoplasmic free Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i). InsP3 activates gating primarily by reducing high [Ca2+]i inhibition. To determine whether relieving Ca2+ inhibition is sufficient for activation, we examined single-channels in low [Ca2+]i in the absence of InsP3 by patch clamping isolated Xenopus oocyte nuclei. For both endogenous Xenopus type 1 and recombinant rat type 3 InsP3R channels, spontaneous InsP3-independent activities with low open probability Po (~ 0.03) were observed in [Ca2+]i < 5 nM, whereas none were observed in 25 nM Ca2+. These results establish the half-maximal inhibitory [Ca2+]i in the absence of InsP3 and demonstrate that the channel can be active when all of its ligand-binding sites are unoccupied. In the simplest allosteric model that fits all observations in nuclear patch-clamp studies, the tetrameric channel can adopt six conformations, the equilibria among which are controlled by two inhibitory, one activating Ca2+-binding, and one InsP3-binding sites in a manner similar to the Monod-Wyman-Changeux model. InsP3 binding activates gating by affecting the relative affinity for Ca2+ of one of the inhibitory sites in different channel conformations, transforming it into an activating site. Ca2+ inhibition of InsP3-liganded channels is mediated by an InsP3-independent second inhibitory site.