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Eur J Neurosci. 1999 Dec;11(12):4171-8.

Comparison of the Ca2 + currents induced by expression of three cloned alpha1 subunits, alpha1G, alpha1H and alpha1I, of low-voltage-activated T-type Ca2 + channels.

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Institute of Vegetative Physiology, University of Cologne, Köln, Germany.


Expression of rat alpha1G, human alpha1H and rat alpha1I subunits of voltage-activated Ca2 + channels in HEK-293 cells yields robust Ca2 + inward currents with 1.25 mM Ca2 + as the charge carrier. Both similarities and marked differences are found between their biophysical properties. Currents induced by expression of alpha1G show the fastest activation and inactivation kinetics. The alpha1H and alpha1I currents activate and inactivate up to 1.5- and 5-fold slower, respectively. No differences in the voltage dependence of steady state inactivation are detected. Currents induced by expression of alpha1G and alpha1H deactivate with time constants of up to 6 ms at a test potential of - 80 mV, but currents induced by alpha1I deactivate about three-fold faster. Recovery from short-term inactivation is more than three-fold slower for currents induced by alpha1H and alpha1I in comparison to alpha1G. In contrast to these characteristics, reactivation after long-term inactivation was fastest for currents arising from expression of alpha1I and slowest in cells expressing alpha1H calcium channels. The calcium inward current induced by expression of alpha1I is increased by positive prepulses while currents induced by alpha1H and alpha1G show little ( < 5%) or no facilitation. The data thus provide a characteristic fingerprint of each channel's activity, which may allow correlation of the alpha1G, alpha1H and alpha1I induced currents with their in vivo counterparts.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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