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D-Ins(1,4,5)P3 is now recognized as an intracellular messenger that mediates the actions of many cell-surface receptors on intracellular Ca2+ pools, but its complex and rapid metabolism in intact cells has confused interpretation of its possible roles in oscillatory changes in intracellular [Ca2+] and in controlling Ca2+ entry at the plasma membrane. We now report the actions and metabolic stability of a synthetic analogue of Ins(1,4,5)P3, DL-inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphorothioate [DL-Ins(1,4,5)P3[S]3]. In permeabilized hepatocytes, DL-Ins(1,4,5)P3[S]3 and synthetic DL-Ins(1,4,5)P3 stimulated Ca2+ release from the same intracellular stores, though the concentration required for half-maximal release was 3-fold higher for DL-Ins(1,4,5)P3[S]3. Since L-Ins(1,4,5)P3 neither antagonized the effects of D-Ins(1,4,5)P3 nor itself stimulated appreciable Ca2+ release, the activity of the racemic mixture of Ins(1,4,5)P3, and presumably also of Ins(1,4,5)P3[S]3, is attributable to the D-isomer. Under conditions where there was negligible metabolism of D-[3H]Ins(1,4,5)P3, both DL-Ins(1,4,5)P3 and DL-Ins(1,4,5)P3[S]3 elicited rapid Ca2+ release from intracellular stores, and the stores remained empty during prolonged stimulation. When cells were incubated at high density, both compounds stimulated rapid Ca2+ release, but while the stores soon refilled as Ins(1,4,5)P3 was degraded to Ins(1,4)P2, there was no refilling of the pools after stimulation with DL-Ins(1,4,5)P3[S]3. When DL-Ins(1,4,5)P3 or DL-Ins(1,4,5)P3[S]3 was treated with a crude preparation of Ins(1,4,5)P3 3-kinase and ATP, and the Ca2+-releasing activity of the products subsequently assayed, DL-Ins(1,4,5)P3 was completely inactivated by phosphorylation, but there was no loss of activity of the phosphorothioate analogue. In additional experiments, DL-Ins(1,4,5)P3[S]3 (10 microM) did not affect the rate of phosphorylation of D-[3H]Ins(1,4,5)P3 (1 microM). We conclude that Ins(1,4,5)P3[S]3 is a full agonist and only 3-fold less potent than Ins(1,4,5)P3 in mobilizing intracellular Ca2+ stores, but unlike the natural messenger it is resistant to both phosphorylation and dephosphorylation. We propose that this stable analogue will allow the direct actions of Ins(1,4,5)P3 to be resolved from those that require its metabolism.


Journal article


Biochem J

Publication Date





645 - 650


Animals, Calcium, Inositol, Inositol 1,4,5-Trisphosphate, Inositol Phosphates, Liver, Organothiophosphorus Compounds, Phosphorylation, Rats