There are three subtypes of vertebrate inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP3) receptor (IP3R), a Ca2+-release channel on the ER membrane — IP3R1, IP3R2, and IP3R3 — each of which has a distinctive role in disease development. To determine the subtype-specific IP3-binding mechanism, we compared the thermodynamics, thermal stability, and conformational dynamics between the N-terminal regions of IP3R1 (IP3R1-NT) and IP3R3 (IP3R3-NT) by performing circular dichroism (CD), isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC), and hydrogen–deuterium exchange mass spectrometry (HDX-MS). Previously determined crystal structures of IP3R1-NT and HDX-MS results from this study revealed that both IP3R1 and IP3R3 adopt a similar IP3-binding mechanism. However, several regions, including the α- and β-interfaces, of IP3R1-NT and IP3R3-NT show significantly different conformational dynamics upon IP3 binding, which may explain the different IP3-binding affinities between the subtypes. The importance of the interfaces for subtype-specific IP3 binding is also supported by the different dynamic conformations of the two subtypes in the apo-states. Furthermore, IP3R1-NT and IP3R3-NT show different IP3-binding affinities and thermal stabilities, but share similar thermodynamic properties for IP3 binding. These results collectively provide new insights into the mechanism underlying IP3 binding to IP3Rs and the subtype-specific regulatory mechanism.

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