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N-terminal and central domains of ryanodine receptor 1 (RyR1), wheremany reportedmalignant hyperthermia (MH) mutations are localized, represent putative channel regulatory domains. Recent domain peptide (DP) probe studies led us to the hypothesis that these domains interact to stabilize the closed state of channel (zipping), while weakening of domain–domain interactions (unzipping) by mutation de-stabilizes the channel, making it leaky to Ca2+ or sensitive to the agonists of RyR1. As shown previously, DP1 (N-terminal domain peptide) and DP4 (central domain peptide) produced MH-like channel activation/sensitization effects, presumably by peptide binding to sites critical to stabilizing domain–domain interactions and resultant loss of conformational constraints. Here we report that polyclonal anti-DP1 and anti- DP4 antibodies also produce MH-like channel activation and sensitization effects as evidenced by about 4-fold enhancement of high affinity [3H]ryanodine binding to RyR1 and by a significant left-shift of the concentration-dependence of activation of sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ release by polylysine. Fluorescence quenching experiments demonstrate that the accessibility of a DP4-directed, conformationally sensitive fluorescence probe linked to the RyR1 N-terminal domain is increased in the presence of domain-specific antibodies, consistent with the view that these antibodies produce unzipping of interacting domains that are of hindered accessibility to the surrounding aqueous environment. Our results suggest that domain-specific antibody binding induces a conformational change resulting in channel activation, and are consistent with the hypothesis that interacting N-terminal and central domains are intimately involved in the regulation of RyR1 channel function.
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