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J Biol Chem. 1993 Sep 15;268(26):19451-7.

Differential phosphorylation of two size forms of the neuronal class C L-type calcium channel alpha 1 subunit.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology, University of Washington, Seattle 98195.


L-type calcium channels mediate long-lasting calcium currents which are modulated by protein phosphorylation. Using site-directed anti-peptide antibodies, we show that the alpha 1 subunit of the neuronal class C L-type calcium channel from rat brain exists in two size forms. The longer form, LC2, with an apparent molecular mass of 210-235 kDa was phosphorylated in vitro by cAMP-dependent protein kinase (cA-PK), but the shorter form, LC1, with an apparent molecular mass of 190-195 kDa was not a substrate for cA-PK. In contrast, LC1 and LC2 are both substrates for protein kinase C (PKC), calcium- and calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II, and cGMP-dependent protein kinase (cG-PK). The site-directed anti-peptide antibody CNC2 was produced against the COOH-terminal end of the class C L-type alpha 1 subunit as predicted by molecular cloning and sequencing of cDNA. CNC2 recognized LC2 but not LC1 by immunoblotting and immunoprecipitated only LC2 phosphorylated by either cA-PK or PKC. These results indicate that LC1 is truncated at its COOH-terminal end with respect to LC2 and that cA-PK preferentially phosphorylates sites in the COOH-terminal region of the alpha 1 subunit that are present in LC2 but not LC1. The selectivity of cA-PK for phosphorylation of the COOH-terminal region of LC2 suggests that the channel activities of the two alpha 1 subunit size forms may be differentially regulated by neurotransmitters and hormones which act through cAMP-dependent mechanisms, while both alpha 1 subunit isoforms may be modulated by PKC, cG-PK, and calcium- and calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II.

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