Ca2+-induced Ca2+ release (CICR) is mediated by ryanodine receptors, a Ca2+ release channel in the sarcoplasmic/endoplasmic reticulum (SR/ER), and plays an important role in various tissues. Type 1 ryanodine receptor (RYR1) plays a key role during excitation–contraction coupling of skeletal muscle. Mutations in RYR1 overactivate the channel to cause malignant hyperthermia (MH). MH is a serious complication characterized by skeletal muscle rigidity and elevated body temperature in response to commonly used inhalational anesthetics. Thus far, >300 mutations in the RYR1 gene have been reported in patients with MH. Some heat stroke triggered by exercise or environmental heat stress is also related to MH mutations in the RYR1 gene. The only drug approved for ameliorating the symptoms of MH is dantrolene, which has been first developed in the 1960s as a muscle relaxant. However, dantrolene has several disadvantages for clinical use: poor water solubility, which makes rapid preparation difficult in emergency situations, and long plasma half-life, which causes long-lasting side effects such as muscle weakness. Here, we show that a novel RYR1-selective inhibitor, 6,7-(methylenedioxy)-1-octyl-4-quinolone-3-carboxylic acid (compound 1 [Cpd1]), effectively rescues MH and heat stroke in new mouse model (RYR1-p.R2509C) relevant to MH. Cpd1 has great advantages of higher water solubility and shorter plasma half-life compared with dantrolene. Our data suggest that Cpd1 has the potential to be a promising new candidate for effective treatment of patients carrying RYR1 mutations. Finally, we have recently identified that heat directly activates RYR1, which induces Ca2+ release from intracellular stores. Our results provide direct evidence that heat induces Ca2+ release (HICR) from the SR through the mutants rather than wild type RYR1, causing an immediate rise in the cytosolic Ca2+ concentration.

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