Structure and mechanism of ryanodine receptor revealed - step forward in understanding muscle diseases

1 December 2014
​Every single moment our life depends on the reliable functioning of muscles. Even slight malfunction of muscles results in diseases. To be able to treat and prevent muscle associated disease we need to understand their structure and function in molecular details.

Muscular contraction is initiated by release of calcium ions from sarcoplasmic reticulum, the intracellular calcium reservoirs. This process it mediated by calcium release channel, also known, as ryanodine receptor. The mechanism of the release has remained enigmatic for nearly thirty years.

Rouslan Efremov (VIB/Vrije Universiteit Brussel): “Our work has now revealed the structure and mechanism of the ryanodine receptor and therefore presents a significant step towards understanding causes and designing treatment against muscle diseases.”

Architecture and conformational switch mechanism of the ryanodine receptor, Efremov et al. Nature 2014

Stefan Rauser & Rouslan Efremov
(c) VIB - 2014