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J Biol Chem. 1992 Jan 25;267(3):1792-7.

Cloning and expression of a cardiac/brain beta subunit of the L-type calcium channel.

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Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas 77030.


The skeletal muscle dihydropyridine receptor/Ca2+ channel is composed of five protein components (alpha 1, alpha 2 delta, beta, and gamma). Only two such components, alpha 1 and alpha 2, have been identified in heart. The present study reports the cloning and expression of a novel beta gene that is expressed in heart, lung, and brain. Coexpression of this beta with a cardiac alpha 1 in Xenopus oocytes causes the following changes in Ca2+ channel activity: it increases peak currents, accelerates activation kinetics, and shifts the current-voltage relationship toward more hyperpolarized potentials. It also increases dihydropyridine binding to alpha 1 in COS cells. These results indicate that the cardiac L-type Ca2+ channel has a similar subunit structure as in skeletal muscle, and provides evidence for the modulatory role of the beta subunit.

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