Trypsin-induced calcium efflux from sarcoplasmic reticulum: Evidence for the involvement of the (Ca2++Mg2+)-ATPase

Jun Ling Huang, Traci B. Topping, Zhaoping He, Brian Folsom, A. Keith Dunker

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Trypsin digestion of the sarcoplasmic reticulum membrane at 35 to 43°C leads to an increased calcium permeability, the temperature dependence of which suggests tryptic exposure or creation of a channel rather than tryptic release of a mobile carrier (K.C. Toogood et al., Membr. Biochem.5:49-75, 1983). Here we show that: (1) the digested vesicles both pump and leak calcium, demonstrating that the vesicles remain intact; (2) an increased rate of efflux is not observed for membranes digested and kept at 15°C, but a temperature shift to 35°C following arrested digestion leads to the development of increased calcium permeability, indicating that a digestion step at the lower temperature potentiates increased permeability which develops rapidly as a result of a trypsin-facilitated protein conformational change at the higher temperature; (3) two inhibitors of the ATPase, adenyl-5′-yl imidodiphosphate and dicyclohexyl-carbodiimide, both measurably retard the development of increased permeability at the higher temperature following arrested digestion, suggesting that these inhibitors bind to the target protein and prevent the conformational change responsible for the permeability increase, and further suggesting that the ATPase is the target for the trypsin; (4) digestion of the ATPase at 15°C follows the same initial cleavage pattern as at 35°C, but the cleavage stops or drastically slows down after the second digestion step at the lower temperature, whereas the digestion continues beyond the second step at the higher temperature, showing that an early digestion step may be responsible for potentiating increased permeability; (5) the permeability increase following digestion at 15°C and incubation at 35°C correlates (r>0.98) with the second tryptic cleavage step of the calcium ATPase, providing more support for the ATPase as the trypsin-sensitive efflux site; and (6) the rate of efflux depends on the concentration of the doubly cleaved ATPase molecules to the first power; the null hypothesis that the efflux actually depends on the cleaved ATPase concentration to the second or higher power was examined using the F test and can be rejected (confidence>0.90 to 0.98), suggesting that the efflux pathway is through a single ATPase molecule. We speculate that the pathway for increased calcium permeability is the one employed during calcium uptake and that there is a functional separation of the ATPase and calcium channel activities by trypsin digestion at 15°C followed by incubation at 35°C.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)193-205
Number of pages13
JournalThe Journal of Membrane Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 1987
Externally publishedYes


  • calcium ATPase
  • sarcoplasmic reticulum
  • trypsin digestion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Physiology
  • Cell Biology

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