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Department of Pharmacology

Beecroft, MD, Taylor, CW

Ca2+ uptake into the intracellular stores of permeabilized hepatocytes was entirely dependent on ATP and substantially inhibited by either ionomycin or thapsigargin, although both were required for complete inhibition. Unidirectional efflux of 45Ca2+ after removal of ATP from cells loaded to steady state (1.60+/-0.12 nmol/10(6) cells) was monoexponential and occurred with a half-time of 103+/-10 s. However, the 45Ca2+ content of the stores did not return to their pre-ATP level, but reached a plateau at 0.12+/-0.04 nmol/10(6) cells. A similar amount of Ca2+ was trapped within the stores when Ca2+ uptake was prevented by thapsigargin and chelation of Ca2+; at all temperatures between 2 degreesC and 37 degreesC; and after stores had first been loaded with unlabelled Ca2+. Simultaneous addition of inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (InsP3) and inhibition of Ca2+ uptake reduced the amount of trapped Ca2+ to a level consistent with InsP3 rapidly and more completely emptying a fraction of the stores that could be only partially emptied by the passive leak. After dilution of the specific activity of the 45Ca2+ under conditions that maintained the steady-state activities of the pumps and leaks, the stores rapidly lost their entire 45Ca2+ content. We conclude that the channel responsible for mediating the leak of Ca2+ abruptly closes when the luminal [Ca2+] of the intracellular stores falls below a critical threshold corresponding to about 7% of their steady-state loading. Whereas InsP3 is capable of completely emptying a fraction of the stores, regulation of the passive leak by luminal [Ca2+] is likely to prevent it from completely emptying them; such regulation may ensure that the many other functions of Ca2+ within the endoplasmic reticulum are not compromised.

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Published date: 
1 September 1998
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Publication type: 
Journal articles
Journal name: 
Biochem J
Publication volume: 
334 ( Pt 2)
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