+1 Recommend
0 collections
      • Record: found
      • Abstract: found
      • Article: not found

      Structure and regulation of voltage-gated Ca2+ channels.

      Annual review of cell and developmental biology

      Animals, Calcium, metabolism, Calcium Channels, pharmacology, physiology, Electrophysiology, GTP-Binding Proteins, Humans, Intracellular Fluid, Phosphorylation, Proteins

      Read this article at

          There is no author summary for this article yet. Authors can add summaries to their articles on ScienceOpen to make them more accessible to a non-specialist audience.


          Voltage-gated Ca(2+) channels mediate Ca(2+) entry into cells in response to membrane depolarization. Electrophysiological studies reveal different Ca(2+) currents designated L-, N-, P-, Q-, R-, and T-type. The high-voltage-activated Ca(2+) channels that have been characterized biochemically are complexes of a pore-forming alpha1 subunit of approximately 190-250 kDa; a transmembrane, disulfide-linked complex of alpha2 and delta subunits; an intracellular beta subunit; and in some cases a transmembrane gamma subunit. Ten alpha1 subunits, four alpha2delta complexes, four beta subunits, and two gamma subunits are known. The Cav1 family of alpha1 subunits conduct L-type Ca(2+) currents, which initiate muscle contraction, endocrine secretion, and gene transcription, and are regulated primarily by second messenger-activated protein phosphorylation pathways. The Cav2 family of alpha1 subunits conduct N-type, P/Q-type, and R-type Ca(2+) currents, which initiate rapid synaptic transmission and are regulated primarily by direct interaction with G proteins and SNARE proteins and secondarily by protein phosphorylation. The Cav3 family of alpha1 subunits conduct T-type Ca(2+) currents, which are activated and inactivated more rapidly and at more negative membrane potentials than other Ca(2+) current types. The distinct structures and patterns of regulation of these three families of Ca(2+) channels provide a flexible array of Ca(2+) entry pathways in response to changes in membrane potential and a range of possibilities for regulation of Ca(2+) entry by second messenger pathways and interacting proteins.

          Related collections

          Author and article information



          Comment on this article