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Inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptors (IP(3)Rs) are a family of tetrameric intracellular calcium (Ca(2+)) release channels that are located on the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) membrane of virtually all mammalian cell types, including smooth muscle cells (SMC). Here, we have reviewed literature investigating IP(3)R expression, cellular localization, tissue distribution, activity regulation, communication with ion channels and organelles, generation of Ca(2+) signals, modulation of physiological functions, and alterations in pathologies in SMCs. Three IP(3)R isoforms have been identified, with relative expression and cellular localization of each contributing to signaling differences in diverse SMC types. Several endogenous ligands, kinases, proteins, and other modulators control SMC IP(3)R channel activity. SMC IP(3)Rs communicate with nearby ryanodine-sensitive Ca(2+) channels and mitochondria to influence SR Ca(2+) release and reactive oxygen species generation. IP(3)R-mediated Ca(2+) release can stimulate plasma membrane-localized channels, including transient receptor potential (TRP) channels and store-operated Ca(2+) channels. SMC IP(3)Rs also signal to other proteins via SR Ca(2+) release-independent mechanisms through physical coupling to TRP channels and local communication with large-conductance Ca(2+)-activated potassium channels. IP(3)R-mediated Ca(2+) release generates a wide variety of intracellular Ca(2+) signals, which vary with respect to frequency, amplitude, spatial, and temporal properties. IP(3)R signaling controls multiple SMC functions, including contraction, gene expression, migration, and proliferation. IP(3)R expression and cellular signaling are altered in several SMC diseases, notably asthma, atherosclerosis, diabetes, and hypertension. In summary, IP(3)R-mediated pathways control diverse SMC physiological functions, with pathological alterations in IP(3)R signaling contributing to disease.


Damodaran Narayanan, Adebowale Adebiyi, Jonathan H Jaggar. Inositol trisphosphate receptors in smooth muscle cells. American journal of physiology. Heart and circulatory physiology. 2012 Jun 01;302(11):H2190-210

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PMID: 22447942

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