Biochemical and biophysical research communications

Regulation of the ryanodine receptor by anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 is independent of its BH3-domain-binding properties.

PMID 25957473


The regulation of intracellular Ca(2+) signaling is an important aspect of how anti-apoptotic B-cell lymphoma 2 (Bcl-2) proteins regulate cell death and cell survival. At the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) the Bcl-2 homology (BH) 4 domain of Bcl-2 is known to bind to and inhibit both inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptors (IP3Rs) and ryanodine receptors (RyRs). Besides this, drugs that target the hydrophobic cleft of Bcl-2 have been reported to deplete ER Ca(2+) stores in an IP3R- and RyR-dependent way. This suggests that the hydrophobic cleft of Bcl-2 may also be involved in regulating these ER-located Ca(2+)-release channels. However, the contribution of the hydrophobic cleft on the binding and regulatory properties of Bcl-2 to either IP3Rs or RyRs has until now not been studied. Here, the importance of the hydrophobic cleft of Bcl-2 in binding to and inhibiting the RyR was assessed by using a genetic approach based on site-directed mutagenesis of Bcl-2's hydrophobic cleft and a pharmacological approach based on the selective Bcl-2 hydrophobic cleft inhibitor, ABT-199. Both binding assays and single-cell Ca(2+) measurements indicated that RyR binding and the inhibition of RyR-mediated Ca(2+) release by Bcl-2 is independent of its hydrophobic cleft.