Regulation of Ca2+ Release from Sarcoplasmic Reticulum of Skeletal Muscle by an Endogenous Substance

  • Annegret Herrmann-Frank


Contraction and relaxation of skeletal muscle is controlled by two membrane systems, the transverse tubular and the longitudinal system (sarcoplasmic reticulum). Under physiological conditions, electrical depolarization of the T-tubular membrane triggers a rapid release of Ca2+ ions from the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR), leading to an increase in the intracellular free Ca2+ concentration and finally to a contraction of muscle fibre. The communication between the two membrane systems occurs in specialized areas where large protein structures, termed feet or bridges (Franzini-Armstrong, 1986), span the narrow gap between the transverse tubules and the SR. Although the mechanism of signal transmission remains to be elucidated [for recent reviews see Rios & Pizzaro, 1988; Caswell & Brandt, 1989; Fleischer & Inui, 1989], there is now good evidence that SR Ca2+ release is mediated via a high con-ductant ligand-gated Ca2+ release channel which serves as the receptor for the plant alkaloid ryanodine and has been shown to be identical with the feet protein [Fleischer & Inui, 1989; Lai & Meissner, 1989; Takeshima et al., 1990].


Sarcoplasmic Reticulum Release Channel Skeletal Muscle Fibre Planar Lipid Bilayer Transverse Tubule 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Annegret Herrmann-Frank
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Cell PhysiologyRuhr-Universität BochumBochum 1West Germany

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