Cardiac ryanodine receptor N-terminal region biosensors identify novel inhibitors via FRET-based high-throughput screening

Jingyan Zhang, Daniel P. Singh, Christopher Y. Ko, Roman Nikolaienko, Siobhan M.Wong King Yuen, Jacob A. Schwarz, Levy M. Treinen, Ching Chieh Tung, Kaja Rožman, Bengt Svensson, Courtney C. Aldrich, Aleksey V. Zima, David D. Thomas, Donald M. Bers, Bradley S. Launikonis, Filip Van Petegem, Razvan L. Cornea

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The N-terminal region (NTR) of ryanodine receptor (RyR) channels is critical for the regulation of Ca2+ release during excitation-contraction (EC) coupling in muscle. The NTR hosts numerous mutations linked to skeletal (RyR1) and cardiac (RyR2) myopathies, highlighting its potential as a therapeutic target. Here, we constructed two biosensors by labeling the mouse RyR2 NTR at domains A, B, and C with FRET pairs. Using fluorescence lifetime (FLT) detection of intramolecular FRET signal, we developed high-throughput screening (HTS) assays with these biosensors to identify small-molecule RyR modulators. We then screened a small validation library and identified several hits. Hits with saturable FRET dose-response profiles and previously unreported effects on RyR were further tested using [3H]ryanodine binding to isolated sarcoplasmic reticulum vesicles to determine effects on intact RyR opening in its natural membrane. We identified three novel inhibitors of both RyR1 and RyR2 and two RyR1-selective inhibitors effective at nanomolar Ca2+. Two of these hits activated RyR1 only at micromolar Ca2+, highlighting them as potential enhancers of excitation- contraction coupling. To determine whether such hits can inhibit RyR leak in muscle, we further focused on one, an FDAapproved natural antibiotic, fusidic acid (FA). In skinned skeletal myofibers and permeabilized cardiomyocytes, FA inhibited RyR leak with no detrimental effect on skeletal myofiber excitation- contraction coupling. However, in intact cardiomyocytes, FA induced arrhythmogenic Ca2+ transients, a cautionary observation for a compound with an otherwise solid safety record. These results indicate that HTS campaigns using the NTR biosensor can identify compounds with therapeutic potential.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101412
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding and additional information—This work was supported

Publisher Copyright:

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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