Interactions between the reactive disulfide fungal metabolite, gliotoxin (GTX), and rabbit skeletal ryanodine receptor (RyR) calcium release channels have been examined. RyRs in terminal cisternae vesicles formed a covalent complex with 100 μm 35S-GTX, which was reversed by 1 mm dithiothreitol (DTT) or 1 mm glutathione. GTX (80–240 μm), added to either cytoplasmic (cis) or luminal (trans) solutions, increased the rate of Ca2+ release from SR vesicles and the frequency of opening of single RyR channels in lipid bilayers. Channel activation was reversed upon addition of 2 mm DTT to the cis solution, showing that the activation was due to an oxidation reaction (2 mm DTT added to the cis solution in the absence of GTX did not affect RyR activity). Furthermore, RyRs were not activated by trans GTX if the cis chamber contained DTT, suggesting that GTX oxidized a site in or near the membrane. In contrast to cis DTT, 2 mm DTT in the trans solution increased RyR activity when added either alone or with 200 μm trans GTX. The results suggest that (i) GTX increases RyR channel activity by oxidizing cysteine residues that are close to the membrane and located on RyR, or associated proteins, and (ii) a disulfide bridge or nitrosothiol, accessible only from the luminal solution, normally suppresses RyR channel activity. Some of the actions of GTX in altering Ca2+ homeostatsis might depend on its modification of RyR calcium channels.
The Journal of Membrane Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 1, 2000
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