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Neuron. 2000 Jul;27(1):121-31.

Potentiation of neuronal L calcium channels by IGF-1 requires phosphorylation of the alpha1 subunit on a specific tyrosine residue.

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Department of Molecular Pharmacology, Physiology, and Biotechnology, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island 02912, USA.


Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) rapidly potentiates N and L calcium channel currents in cerebellar granule neurons by an unknown mechanism. Here, we show that the L channel alpha1C subunit is tyrosine phosphorylated in response to IGF-1. Moreover, expression of kinase-dead c-Src in neurons or acute block of Src family kinases with a cell-permeable inhibitor specifically blocks L channel potentiation. Purified Src kinase phosphorylates tyrosine residue Y2122 of the C terminus of neuronal alpha1C in vitro, and c- and v-Src directly bind the C terminus. When expressed in neuroblastoma cells, point mutation of Y2122 prevents both tyrosine phosphorylation of alpha1C and IGF-1 potentiation. Our data provide a biochemical mechanism whereby phosphorylation of a single specific tyrosine residue rapidly modifies ion channel physiology.

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