The fatty acids palmitic (C16:0), stearic (C18:0), arachidic (C20:0) and arachidonic (C20:4) acids inhibit Ca2+ uptake and enhance Ca2+ efflux measured in vesicles derived from the sarcoplasmic reticulum of skeletal muscle. These effects of the fatty acids are impaired by the Ca(2+)-ATPase ligands Mg2+, Ca2+ and K+, and by drugs that block the leakage of Ca2+ through the Ca(2+)-ATPase such as Ruthenium Red, spermine [de Meis (1991) J. Biol. Chem. 266, 5736-5742] and thapsigargin [de Meis and Inesi (1992) FEBS Lett. 299, 33-35].

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