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Neuron. 1992 Nov;9(5):943-54.

Stable transfection of calbindin-D28k into the GH3 cell line alters calcium currents and intracellular calcium homeostasis.

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Department of Neurobiology, Institute of Animal Physiology and Genetic Research, Babraham, Cambridge, United Kingdom.


Previous work demonstrating the presence and differential distribution of Ca(2+)-binding proteins in the CNS has led to the proposal that cytosolic proteins, such as calbindin-D28k (CB), may play a pivotal role in neurons. We have used a retrovirus containing the full-length cDNA for CB to transfect the pituitary tumor cell line GH3, to generate CB-expressing GH3 cells and to investigate whether ionic channel activities as well as the concentration of intracellular free Ca2+ ([Ca2+]i) homeostasis could be altered by the presence of this Ca(2+)-binding protein. We show that CB-transfected GH3 cells exhibited lower Ca2+ entry through voltage-dependent Ca2+ channels and were better able to reduce [Ca2+]i transients evoked by voltage depolarizations than the wild-type parent cell line. These observations provide a mechanism by which CB may protect tissues against Ca(2+)-mediated excitotoxicity.

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