The calcium dependence of ryanodine-sensitive single calcium channels was studied after fusing with planar lipid bilayers sarcoendoplasmic reticulum vesicles isolated from excitable tissues. Native channels from mammalian or amphibian skeletal muscle displayed three different calcium dependencies, cardiac (C), mammalian skeletal (MS), and low fractional open times (low Po), as reported for channels from brain cortex. Native channels from cardiac muscle presented only the MS and C dependencies. Channels with the MS or low Po behaviors showed bell-shaped calcium dependencies, but the latter had fractional open times of <0.1 at all [Ca2+]. Channels with C calcium dependence were activated by [Ca2+] < 10 microM and were not inhibited by increasing cis [Ca2+] up to 0.5 mM. After oxidation with 2,2'-dithiodipyridine or thimerosal, channels with low Po or MS dependencies increased their activity. These channels modified their calcium dependencies sequentially, from low Po to MS and C, or from MS to C. Reduction with glutathione of channels with C dependence (native or oxidized) decreased their fractional open times in 0.5 mM cis [Ca2+], from near unity to 0.1-0.3. These results show that all native channels displayed at least two calcium dependencies regardless of their origin, and that these changed after treatment with redox reagents.