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Trimeric intracellular cation channels (TRIC-A and TRIC-B) are thought to provide counter-ion currents to enable charge equilibration across the sarco/endoplasmic reticulum (SR) and nuclear membranes. However, there is also evidence that TRIC-A may interact directly with ryanodine receptor type 1 (RyR1) and 2 (RyR2) to alter RyR channel gating. It is therefore possible that the reverse is also true, where the presence of RyR channels is necessary for fully functional TRIC channels. We therefore coexpressed mouse TRIC-A or TRIC-B with mouse RyR2 in HEK293 cells to examine if after incorporating membrane vesicles from these cells into bilayers, the presence of TRIC affects RyR2 function, and to characterize the permeability and gating properties of the TRIC channels. Importantly, we used no purification techniques or detergents to minimize damage to TRIC and RyR2 proteins. We found that both TRIC-A and TRIC-B altered the gating behavior of RyR2 and its response to cytosolic Ca2+ but that TRIC-A exhibited a greater ability to stimulate the opening of RyR2. Fusing membrane vesicles containing TRIC-A or TRIC-B into bilayers caused the appearance of rapidly gating current fluctuations of multiple amplitudes. The reversal potentials of bilayers fused with high numbers of vesicles containing TRIC-A or TRIC-B revealed both Cl- and K+ fluxes, suggesting that TRIC channels are relatively non-selective ion channels. Our results indicate that the physiological roles of TRIC-A and TRIC-B may include direct, complementary regulation of RyR2 gating in addition to the provision of counter-ion currents of both cations and anions.

Original publication




Journal article


J Gen Physiol

Publication Date





Humans, Animals, Mice, HEK293 Cells, Ryanodine Receptor Calcium Release Channel, Biophysics, Cytosol, Endoplasmic Reticulum, Ion Channels