Cytoplasmic Ca2+ signals are highly regulated by various ion transporters, including the inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP3) receptor (IP3R), which functions as a Ca2+ release channel on the endoplasmic reticulum membrane. Crystal structures of the two N-terminal regulatory regions from type 1 IP3R have been reported; those of the IP3-binding core (IP3RCORE) with bound IP3, and the suppressor domain. This study examines the structural effects of ligand binding on an IP3R construct, designated IP3RN, that contains both the IP3-binding core and the suppressor domain. Our circular dichroism results reveal that the IP3-bound and IP3-free states have similar secondary structure content, consistent with preservation of the overall fold within the individual domains. Thermal denaturation data show that, while IP3 has a large effect on the stability of IP3RCORE, it has little effect on IP3RN, indicating that the suppressor domain is critical to the stability of IP3RN. The NMR data for IP3RN provide evidence for chemical exchange, which may be due to protein conformational dynamics in both apo and IP3-bound states: a conclusion supported by the small-angle X-ray scattering data. Further, the scattering data show that IP3RN undergoes a change in average conformation in response to IP3 binding and the presence of Ca2+ in the solution. Taken together, these data lead us to propose that there are two flexible linkers in the N-terminal region of IP3R that join stably folded domains and give rise to an equilibrium mixture of conformational sub-states containing compact and more extended structures. IP3 binding drives the conformational equilibrium toward more compact structures, while the presence of Ca2+ drives it to a more extended set.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Structural Biology
- Molecular Biology