The Journal of Membrane Biology

, Volume 90, Issue 3, pp 219–230 | Cite as

Caffeine inhibition of calcium accumulation by the sarcoplasmic reticulum in mammalian skinned fibers

  • M. M. Sorenson
  • H. S. L. Coelho
  • J. P. Reuben


Oxalate-supported Ca accumulation by the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) of chemically skinned mammalian skeletal muscle fibers is activated by MgATP and Ca2+ and partially inhibited by caffeine. Inhibition by caffeine is greatest when Ca2+ exceeds 0.3 to 0.4 μm, when free ATP exceeds 0.8 to 1mm, and when the inhibitor is present from the beginning of the loading period rather than when it is added after Ca oxalate has already begun to precipitate within the SR. Under the most favorable combination of these conditions, this effect of caffeine is maximal at 2.5 to 5mm and is half-maximal at approximately 0.5mm. For a given concentration of caffeine, inhibition decreases to one-half of its maximum value when free ATP is reduced to 0.2 to 0.3mm. Varying free Mg2+ (0.1 to 2mm) or MgATP (0.03 to 10mm) has no effect on inhibition. Average residual uptake rates in the presence of 5mm caffeine atpCa 6.4 range from 32 to 70% of the control rates in fibers from different animals. The extent of inhibition in whole-muscle homogenates is similar to that observed in skinned fibers, but further purification of SR membranes by differential centrifugation reduces their ability to respond to caffeine. In skinned fibers, caffeine does not alter the Ca2+ concentration dependence of Ca uptake (K0.5, 0.5 to 0.8 μm; Hilln, 1.5 to 2.1). Reductions in rate due to caffeine are accompanied by proportional reductions in maximum capacity of the fibers, and this configuration can be mimicked by treating fibers with the ionophore A23187. Caffeine induces a sustained release of Ca from fibers loaded with Ca oxalate. However, caffeine-induced Ca release is transient when fibers are loaded without oxalate. The effects of caffeine on rate and capacity of Ca uptake as well as the sustained and transient effects on uptake and release observed under different conditions can be accounted for by a single mode of action of caffeine: it increases Ca permeability in a limited population of SR membranes, and these membranes coexist with a population of caffeine-insensitive membranes within the same fiber.

Key Words

chemically skinned fibers caffeine Ca uptake sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ free ATP MgATP 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. M. Sorenson
    • 1
  • H. S. L. Coelho
    • 1
  • J. P. Reuben
    • 1
  1. 1.Departamento de Bioquímica, ICB, Universidade Federal do Rio de JaneiroCidade UniversitáriaRio de JaneiroBrasil

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