Membrane insertion, glycosylation, and oligomerization of inositol trisphosphate receptors in a cell-free translation system

Suresh K. Joseph, Darren Boehning, Shawn Pierson, Christopher V. Nicchitta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


In order to study the membrane topology, processing, and oligomerization of inositol trisphosphate receptor (IP3R) isoforms, we have utilized RNA templates encoding putative transmembrane domains to program a cell-free translation system of rabbit reticulocyte lysates supplemented with canine pancreas microsomes. In the absence of microsomes, translation of the RNA templates encoding all the putative transmembrane domains present in the C- terminal segment of the type I (1TM) and type III (3TM) IP3R isoforms resulted in a 62-and 59-kDa polypeptide, respectively. In both cases, an additional band approximately 3 kDa larger was observed upon the addition of microsomes. Both bands in the translation doublet were integrated into microsomal membranes and were full-length translation products, as shown by sedimentation through a sucrose cushion and immunoprecipitation with C- terminal isoform-specific antibodies. With both isoforms, N-glycopeptidase F digestion indicates that the upper band in the doublet corresponds to a glycosylated translation product. A 17-kDa protected fragment was observed after proteinase-K digestion of 1TM translated in the presence of microsomes. The pattern and size of protected fragments was consistent with the current six-transmembrane domain model of IP3R topology. Cotranslation of both 1TM and 3TM RNA templates in the presence of microsomes followed by immunoprecipitation with isoform specific antibodies revealed coimmunoprecipitation of translation products. This was not observed when the isoforms were translated separately and then mixed, suggesting that heteroligomerization occurs co-translationally. A construct encoding only the first putative transmembrane domain of the type I isoform was found to be sufficient for integration into membranes but was unable to oligomerize with either 1TM or 3TM. Cotranslation experiments using additional constructs indicate that the major structural determinant for homoligomerization lies between putative transmembrane domain 5 and the C terminus. A second oligomerization domain involved in stabilization of heteroligomers is present within the first four transmembrane domains.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1579-1588
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Membrane insertion, glycosylation, and oligomerization of inositol trisphosphate receptors in a cell-free translation system'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this