Ryanodine receptors: structure and function

J Biol Chem. 2012 Sep 14;287(38):31624-32. doi: 10.1074/jbc.R112.349068. Epub 2012 Jul 20.


Ryanodine receptors (RyRs) are huge ion channels that are responsible for the release of Ca(2+) from the sarco/endoplasmic reticulum. RyRs form homotetramers with a mushroom-like shape, consisting of a large cytoplasmic head and transmembrane stalk. Ca(2+) is a major physiological ligand that triggers opening of RyRs, but a plethora of modulatory proteins and small molecules in the cytoplasm and sarco/endoplasmic reticulum lumen have been recognized. Over 300 mutations in RyRs are associated with severe skeletal muscle disorders or triggered cardiac arrhythmias. With the advent of high-resolution structures of individual domains, many of these can be mapped onto the three-dimensional structure.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Allosteric Site
  • Animals
  • Calcium / chemistry*
  • Calcium Channels / chemistry
  • Cryoelectron Microscopy / methods
  • Cytoplasm / metabolism
  • Endoplasmic Reticulum / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Inositol 1,4,5-Trisphosphate Receptors / chemistry
  • Ions
  • Ligands
  • Malignant Hyperthermia / metabolism
  • Models, Molecular
  • Molecular Conformation
  • Mutation
  • Phosphorylation
  • Ryanodine Receptor Calcium Release Channel / metabolism*
  • Sarcoplasmic Reticulum / metabolism


  • Calcium Channels
  • Inositol 1,4,5-Trisphosphate Receptors
  • Ions
  • Ligands
  • Ryanodine Receptor Calcium Release Channel
  • Calcium