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The presence of a sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) K+-selective ion-channel has been known for >30 years yet the molecular identity of this channel has remained a mystery. Recently, an SR trimeric intracellular cation channel (TRIC-A) was identified but it did not exhibit all expected characteristics of the SR K+-channel. We show that a related SR protein, TRIC-B, also behaves as a cation-selective ion-channel. Comparison of the single-channel properties of purified TRIC-A and TRIC-B in symmetrical 210 mM K+ solutions, show that TRIC-B has a single-channel conductance of 138 pS with subconductance levels of 59 and 35 pS, whereas TRIC-A exhibits full- and subconductance open states of 192 and 129 pS respectively. We suggest that the K+-current fluctuations observed after incorporating cardiac or skeletal SR into bilayers, can be explained by the gating of both TRIC-A and TRIC-B channels suggesting that the SR K+-channel is not a single, distinct entity. Importantly, TRIC-A is regulated strongly by trans-membrane voltage whereas TRIC-B is activated primarily by micromolar cytosolic Ca2+ and inhibited by luminal Ca2+. Thus, TRIC-A and TRIC-B channels are regulated by different mechanisms, thereby providing maximum flexibility and scope for facilitating monovalent cation flux across the SR membrane.

Original publication

DOI

10.1016/j.bpj.2010.04.051

Type

Journal article

Journal

Biophys J

Publication Date

21/07/2010

Volume

99

Pages

417 - 426

Keywords

Animals, Calcium, Cell Membrane Permeability, Electric Conductivity, Ion Channel Gating, Muscle, Skeletal, Myocardium, Potassium Channels, Potassium Chloride, Rabbits, Sarcoplasmic Reticulum, Sheep