Dissection of the inhibition of cardiac ryanodine receptors by human glutathione transferase GSTM2-2

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The muscle specific glutathione transferase GSTM2-2 inhibits the activity of cardiac ryanodine receptor (RyR2) calcium release channels with high affinity and activates skeletal RyR (RyR1) channels with lower affinity. To determine which overall region of the GSTM2-2 molecule supports binding to RyR2, we examined the effects of truncating GSTM2-2 on its ability to alter Ca2+ release from sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) vesicles and RyR channel activity. The C-terminal half of GSTM2-2 which lacks the critical GSH binding site supported the inhibition of RyR2, but did not support activation of RyR1. Smaller fragments of GSTM2-2 indicated that the C-terminal helix 6 was crucial for the action of GSTM2-2 on RyR2. Only fragments containing the helix 6 sequence inhibited Ca2+ release from cardiac SR. Single RyR2 channels were strongly inhibited by constructs containing the helix 6 sequence in combination with adjacent helices (helices 5-8 or 4-6). Fragments containing helices 5-6 or helix 6 sequences alone had less well-defined effects. Chemical cross-linking indicated that C-terminal helices 5-8 bound to RyR2, but not RyR1. Structural analysis with circular dichroism showed that the helical content was greater in the longer helix 6 containing constructs, while the helix 6 sequence alone had minimal helical structure. Therefore the active centre of GSTM2-2 for inhibition of cardiac RyR2 involves the helix 6 sequence and the helical nature of this region is essential for its efficacy. GSTM2-2 helices 5-8 may provide the basis for RyR2-specific compounds for experimental and therapeutic use.

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