Alternate splicing in the cytosolic II-III loop and the carboxy terminus of human E-type voltage-gated Ca(2+) channels: electrophysiological characterization of isoforms.
ABSTRACT There is growing evidence that Ca(v)2.3 (alpha1E, E-type) transcripts may encode the ion-conducting subunit of a subclass of R-type Ca(2+) channels, a heterogeneous group of channels by definition resistant to blockers of L-, N-, and P/Q-type Ca(2+) channels. To understand whether splice variation of Ca(v)2.3 contributes to the divergence of R-type channels, individual variants of Ca(v)2.3 were constructed and expressed in HEK-293 cells. With Ba(2+) as charge carrier, the tested biophysical properties were similar. In Ca(2+), the inactivation time course was slower and the recovery from short-term inactivation was faster; however, this occurred only in variants containing a 19-amino-acid-long insertion, which is typical for neuronal Ca(v)2.3 Ca(2+) channel subunits. This different Ca(2+) sensitivity is not responsible for the major differences between various R-type channels, and future studies might clarify its importance for in vivo synaptic or dendritic integration and the reasons for its loss in endocrine Ca(v)2.3 splice variants.
Article: Atypical properties of a conventional calcium channel beta subunit from the platyhelminth Schistosoma mansoni.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The function of voltage-gated calcium (Cav) channels greatly depends on coupling to cytoplasmic accessory beta subunits, which not only promote surface expression, but also modulate gating and kinetic properties of the alpha1 subunit. Schistosomes, parasitic platyhelminths that cause schistosomiasis, express two beta subunit subtypes: a structurally conventional beta subunit and a variant beta subunit with unusual functional properties. We have previously characterized the functional properties of the variant Cavbeta subunit. Here, we focus on the modulatory phenotype of the conventional Cavbeta subunit (SmCavbeta) using the human Cav2.3 channel as the substrate for SmCavbeta and the whole-cell patch-clamp technique. The conventional Schistosoma mansoni Cavbeta subunit markedly increases Cav2.3 currents, slows macroscopic inactivation and shifts steady state inactivation in the hyperpolarizing direction. However, currents produced by Cav2.3 in the presence of SmCavbeta run-down to approximately 75% of their initial amplitudes within two minutes of establishing the whole-cell configuration. This suppressive effect was independent of Ca2+, but dependent on intracellular Mg2+-ATP. Additional experiments revealed that SmCavbeta lends the Cav2.3/SmCavbeta complex sensitivity to Na+ ions. A mutant version of the Cavbeta subunit lacking the first forty-six amino acids, including a string of twenty-two acidic residues, no longer conferred sensitivity to intracellular Mg2+-ATP and Na+ ions, while continuing to show wild type modulation of current amplitude and inactivation of Cav2.3. The data presented in this article provide insights into novel mechanisms employed by platyhelminth Cavbeta subunits to modulate voltage-gated Ca2+ currents that indicate interactions between the Ca2+ channel complex and chelated forms of ATP as well as Na+ ions. These results have potentially important implications for understanding previously unknown mechanisms by which platyhelminths and perhaps other organisms modulate Ca2+ currents in excitable cells.BMC Physiology 02/2008; 8:6.
Article: International Union of Pharmacology. XLVIII. Nomenclature and structure-function relationships of voltage-gated calcium channels.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The family of voltage-gated calcium channels serves as the key transducers of cell surface membrane potential changes into local intracellular calcium transients that initiate many different physiological events. There are 10 members of the voltage-gated calcium channel family that have been characterized in mammals, and they serve distinct roles in cellular signal transduction. This article presents the molecular relationships and physiological functions of these calcium channel proteins and provides comprehensive information on their molecular, genetic, physiological, and pharmacological properties.Pharmacological Reviews 01/2006; 57(4):411-25. · 20.23 Impact Factor