The inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (InsP3) receptor (InsP3R) is a ligand-gated intracellular Ca2+ release channel that plays a central role in modulating cytoplasmic free Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i). The fungal metabolite adenophostin A (AdA) is a potent agonist of the InsP3R that is structurally different from InsP3 and elicits distinct calcium signals in cells. We have investigated the effects of AdA and its analogues on single-channel activities of the InsP3R in the outer membrane of isolated Xenopus laevis oocyte nuclei. InsP3R activated by either AdA or InsP3 have identical channel conductance properties. Furthermore, AdA, like InsP3, activates the channel by tuning Ca2+ inhibition of gating. However, gating of the AdA-liganded InsP3R has a critical dependence on cytoplasmic ATP free acid concentration not observed for InsP3-liganded channels. Channel gating activated by AdA is indistinguishable from that elicited by InsP3 in the presence of 0.5 mM ATP, although the functional affinity of the channel is 60-fold higher for AdA. However, in the absence of ATP, gating kinetics of AdA-liganded InsP3R were very different. Channel open time was reduced by 50%, resulting in substantially lower maximum open probability than channels activated by AdA in the presence of ATP, or by InsP3 in the presence or absence of ATP. Also, the higher functional affinity of InsP3R for AdA than for InsP3 is nearly abolished in the absence of ATP. Low affinity AdA analogues furanophostin and ribophostin activated InsP3R channels with gating properties similar to those of AdA. These results provide novel insights for interpretations of observed effects of AdA on calcium signaling, including the mechanisms that determine the durations of elementary Ca2+ release events in cells. Comparisons of single-channel gating kinetics of the InsP3R activated by InsP3, AdA, and its analogues also identify molecular elements in InsP3R ligands that contribute to binding and activation of channel gating.
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