In heart and skeletal muscle an S100 protein family member, S100A1, binds to the ryanodine receptor (RyR) and promotes Ca2+ release. Using competition binding assays, we further characterized this system in skeletal muscle and showed that Ca2+-S100A1 competes with Ca2+-calmodulin (CaM) for the same binding site on RyR1. In addition, the NMR structure was determined for Ca2+-S100A1 bound to a peptide derived from this CaM/S100A1 binding domain, a region conserved in RyR1 and RyR2 and termed RyRP12 (residues 3616-3627 in human RyR1). Examination of the S100A1-RyRP12 complex revealed residues of the helical RyRP12 peptide (Lys-3616, Trp-3620, Lys-3622, Leu-3623, Leu-3624, and Lys-3626) that are involved in favorable hydrophobic and electrostatic interactions with Ca2+-S100A1. These same residues were shown previously to be important for RyR1 binding to Ca2+-CaM. A model for regulating muscle contraction is presented in which Ca2+-S100A1 and Ca2+-CaM compete directly for the same binding site on the ryanodine receptor
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