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Trends Pharmacol Sci. 2001 Oct;22(10):519-25.

Interactions between presynaptic Ca2+ channels, cytoplasmic messengers and proteins of the synaptic vesicle release complex.

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Dept. of Physiology and Biophysics, University of Calgary, 3330 Hospital Drive NW, T2N 4N1, Calgary, Canada.


Influx of Ca(2+) through presynaptic voltage-gated Ca(2+) channels is a key step in rapid neurotransmitter release. The amount of Ca(2+) entering through these channels is modulated by a plethora of intracellular messenger molecules, including betagamma-subunits of G proteins, and protein kinases. In addition, Ca(2+) channels bind physically to proteins of the vesicle-release machinery in a Ca(2+)-dependent manner, which can, in turn, regulate the activity of Ca(2+) channels. Recent evidence suggests that second messengers and presynaptic vesicle-release proteins do not regulate Ca(2+) channel activity as independent entities, but that there is extensive crosstalk between these two mechanisms. The complex interactions between second messengers, vesicle-release proteins and voltage-gated Ca(2+) channels might provide multiple avenues for fine-tuning Ca(2+) entry into the presynaptic terminal and, consequently, neurotransmission.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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