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Biophys J. 2005 Sep;89(3):1681-91. Epub 2005 Jun 10.

Slowed N-type calcium channel (CaV2.2) deactivation by the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor roscovitine.

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  • 1Department of Physiology, Tulane University Health Sciences Center, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA.


The lack of a calcium channel agonist (e.g., BayK8644) for CaV2 channels has impeded their investigation. Roscovitine, a potent inhibitor of cyclin-dependent kinases 1, 2, and 5, has recently been reported to slow the deactivation of P/Q-type calcium channels (CaV2.1). We show that roscovitine also slows deactivation (EC(50) approximately 53 microM) of N-type calcium channels (CaV2.2) and investigate gating alterations induced by roscovitine. The onset of slowed deactivation was rapid ( approximately 2 s), which contrasts with a slower effect of roscovitine to inhibit N-current (EC(50) approximately 300 microM). Slow deactivation was specific to roscovitine, since it could not be induced by a closely related cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor, olomoucine (300 microM). Intracellularly applied roscovitine failed to slow deactivation, which implies an extracellular binding site. The roscovitine-induced slow deactivation was accompanied by a slight left shift in the activation-voltage relationship, slower activation at negative potentials, and increased inactivation. Additional data showed that roscovitine preferentially binds to the open channel to slow deactivation. A model where roscovitine reduced a backward rate constant between two open states was able to reproduce the effect of roscovitine on both activation and deactivation.

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