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Pflugers Arch. 2000 Apr;439(6):691-9.

Effects of the dihydropyridine receptor subunits gamma and alpha2delta on the kinetics of heterologously expressed L-type Ca2+ channels.

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Department of Applied Physiology, University of Ulm, Germany.


Ba2+ currents through L-type Ca2+ channels were measured in tsA201 cells transiently transfected with expression vectors encoding the dihydropyridine (DHP) receptor subunits alpha1C, beta1a-GFP, alpha2delta and gamma. The subunit effect on channel function was studied by omitting either alpha2delta or gamma from the transfection mixture and analyzing the voltage dependence and kinetics of activation, inactivation and recovery from inactivation. Activation could be described by a single exponential function while the time course of inactivation of the Ba2+ current followed a double exponential function. Progressively longer depolarization led to increasingly slower recovery, indicating the successive occupancy of several inactive states. Activation parameters remained largely unaffected in y-deficient cells whereas the voltage dependence of inactivation was shifted by 16 mV to more positive potentials and the larger one of the two inactivation time constants was increased by one-third. On the other hand, alpha2delta-deficient cells showed decreased current density and slowed activation and inactivation. Recovery from inactivation was significantly slowed by gamma coexpression. This and the effect of the gamma subunit on steady-state inactivation were independent of the presence of alpha2delta. We conclude that y stabilizes L-type Ca2+ channel inactivation in a way similar to certain Ca(2+)-antagonistic drugs. Alpha2delta is not needed for this effect.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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