The beta(1a) subunit of the skeletal DHPR binds to skeletal RyR1 and activates the channel via its 35-residue C-terminal tail.
Although it has been suggested that the C-terminal tail of the β(1a) subunit of the skeletal dihyropyridine receptor (DHPR) may contribute to voltage-activated Ca(2+) release in skeletal muscle by interacting with the skeletal ryanodine receptor (RyR1), a direct functional interaction between the two proteins has not been demonstrated previously. Such an interaction is reported here. A peptide with the sequence of the C-terminal 35 residues of β(1a) bound to RyR1 in affinity chromatography. The full-length β(1a) subunit and the C-terminal peptide increased [(3)H]ryanodine binding and RyR1 channel activity with an AC(50) of 450-600 pM under optimal conditions. The effect of the peptide was dependent on cytoplasmic Ca(2+), ATP, and Mg(2+) concentrations. There was no effect of the peptide when channel activity was very low as a result of Mg(2+) inhibition or addition of 100 nM Ca(2+) (without ATP). Maximum increases were seen with 1-10 μM Ca(2+), in the absence of Mg(2+) inhibition. A control peptide with the C-terminal 35 residues in a scrambled sequence did not bind to RyR1 or alter [(3)H]ryanodine binding or channel activity. This high-affinity in vitro functional interaction between the C-terminal 35 residues of the DHPR β(1a) subunit and RyR1 may support an in vivo function of β(1a) during voltage-activated Ca(2+) release.