Effects of pO2 on the activation of skeletal muscle ryanodine receptors by NO: A cautionary note

Eunji Cheong, Vassil Tumbev, Detcho Stoyanovsky, Guy Salama

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21 Citations (Scopus)


Eu et al., reported that O2 dynamically controls the redox state of 6-8 out of 50 thiols per skeletal ryanodine receptor (RyR1) subunit and thereby tunes the response of Ca2+-release channels to authentic nitric oxide (NO) [J.P. Eu, J. Sun, L. Xu, J.S. Stamler, G. Meissner, The skeletal muscle calcium release channel: coupled O2 sensor and NO signaling functions, Cell 102 (2000) 499-509]. A role for O2 was based on the observation that RyR1 can be activated by submicromolar NO at physiological (∼10 mmHg) but not ambient (∼150 mmHg) pO2. At ambient pO2, these critical thiols were oxidized but incubation at low pO2 reset the redox state of these thiols, closed RyR1 channels and made these thiols available for nitrosation by low NO concentrations. Eu et al., postulated the existence of a redox/O2sensor that couples channel activity to NO and pO2 and explained that "the nature of the 'redox/ O2 sensor' that couples channel activity to intracellular redox chemistry is a mystery". Here, we re-examined the effect of pO2 on RyR1 and find that incubation of RyR1 at low pO2 did not alter channel activity and NO (0.5-50 μM) failed to activate RyR1 despite a wide range of pO2 pre-incubation conditions. We show that low levels of NO do not activate RyR1, do not reverse the inhibition of RyR1 by calmodulin (CaM) even at physiological pO2. Similarly, the pre-incubation of SR vesicles in low pO2 (for 10-80 min) did not inhibit channel activity or sensitization of RyR1 to NO. We discuss the significance of these findings and propose that caution should be taken when considering a role for pO2 and nitrosation by NO as mechanisms that tune RyRs in striated muscles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)481-488
Number of pages8
JournalCell Calcium
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Nov

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by grant awards from the National Institute of Health, R01 HL 57929 and HL59614 to G. Salama, a Predoctoral Fellowship from the Western Pennsylvania Affiliate of the American Heart Association to E. Cheong and US Public Health Service Grant ES09648-01A2 from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences to D. Stoyanovsky.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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