The skeletal muscle Ca2+ release channel (RYR1) is regulated by calmodulin in both its Ca2+-free (apocalmodulin) and Ca2+-bound (Ca2+ calmodulin) states. Apocalmodulin is an activator of the channel, and Ca2+ calmodulin is an inhibitor of the channel. Both apocalmodulin and Ca2+ calmodulin binding sites on RYR1 are destroyed by a mild tryptic digestion of the sarcoplasmic reticulum membranes, but calmodulin (either form), bound to RYR1 prior to tryptic digestion, protects both the apocalmodulin and Ca2+ calmodulin sites from tryptic destruction. The protected sites are after arginines 3630 and 3637 on RYR1. These studies suggest that both Ca2+ calmodulin and apocalmodulin bind to the same or overlapping regions on RYR1 and block access of trypsin to sites at amino acids 3630 and 3637. This sequence is part of a predicted Ca2+ CaM binding site of amino acids 3614-3642 [Takeshima, H., et al. (1989) Nature 339, 439-445].