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J Neurosci. 2000 Aug 1;20(15):5623-9.

A voltage-independent calcium current inhibitory pathway activated by muscarinic agonists in rat sympathetic neurons requires both Galpha q/11 and Gbeta gamma.

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Laboratory of Molecular Physiology, Guthrie Research Institute, Sayre, PA 18840, USA.


Calcium current modulation by the muscarinic cholinergic agonist oxotremorine methiodide (oxo-M) was examined in sympathetic neurons from the superior cervical ganglion of the rat. Oxo-M strongly inhibited calcium currents via voltage-dependent (VD) and voltage-independent (VI) pathways. These pathways could be separated with the use of the specific M(1) acetylcholine receptor antagonist M(1)-toxin and with pertussis toxin (PTX) treatment. Expression by nuclear cDNA injection of the regulator of G-protein signaling (RGS2) or a phospholipase Cbeta1 C-terminal construct (PLCbeta-ct) selectively reduced VI oxo-M modulation in PTX-treated and untreated cells. Expression of the Gbetagamma buffers transducin (Galpha(tr)) and a G-protein-coupled-receptor kinase (GRK3) construct (MAS-GRK3) eliminated oxo-M modulation. Activation of the heterologously expressed neurokinin type 1 receptor, a Galpha(q/11)-coupled receptor, resulted in VI calcium current modulation. This modulation was eliminated with coexpression of Galpha(tr) or MAS-GRK3. Cells expressing Gbeta(1)gamma(2) were tonically inhibited via the VD pathway. Application of oxo-M to these cells produced VI modulation and reduced the amount of current inhibited via the VD pathway. Together, these results confirm the requirement for Gbetagamma in VD modulation and implicate Galpha(q)-GTP and Gbetagamma as components in the potentially novel VI pathway.

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