In a search for the non-muscle equivalent of calsequestrin (the low-affinity high-capacity Ca2(+)-binding protein responsible for Ca2+ storage within the terminal cisternae of the sarcoplasmic reticulum), acidic proteins were extracted from rat liver and brain microsomal preparations and purified by column chromatography. No calsequestrin was observed in these extracts, but the N-terminal amino acid sequence of the major Ca2(+)-binding protein of the liver microsomal fraction was determined and found to correspond to that of calreticulin. This protein was found to bind approx. 50 mol of Ca2+/mol of protein, with low affinity (average Kd approx. 1.0 mM). A monoclonal antibody, C6, raised against skeletal-muscle calsequestrin cross-reacted with calreticulin in SDS/PAGE immunoblots, but polyclonal antibodies reacted with native calreticulin only weakly, or not at all, after SDS denaturation. Immuno-gold decoration of liver ultrathin cryosections with affinity-purified antibodies against liver calreticulin revealed luminal labelling of vacuolar profiles indistinguishable from calciosomes, the subcellular structures previously identified by the use of anti-calsequestrin antibodies. We conclude that calreticulin is the Ca2(+)-binding protein segregated within the calciosome lumen, previously described as being calsequestrin-like. Because of its properties and intraluminal location, calreticulin might play a critical role in Ca2+ storage and release in non-muscle cells, similar to that played by calsequestrin in the muscle sarcoplasmic reticulum.

This content is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.