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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1990 May;87(9):3391-5.

Rat brain expresses a heterogeneous family of calcium channels.

Author information

1
Biotechnology Laboratory, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.

Abstract

We describe the isolation and characterization of several rat brain cDNAs that are homologous to the alpha 1 subunit of heart and skeletal muscle dihydropyridine-sensitive Ca channels. Northern blot analysis of 32 cDNAs shows that they can be grouped into four distinct classes (A, B, C, and D), each corresponding to a distinct hybridization pattern of brain mRNAs. Southern blot and DNA sequencing suggest that each class of cDNA represents a distinct gene or gene family. In the regions sequenced, the rat brain class C and D gene products share approximately 75% amino acid identity with the rabbit skeletal muscle Ca channel. In addition, the class C polypeptide is almost identical to the rabbit cardiac Ca channel (97% identity). In contrast, the rat brain class A and B cDNAs are more distantly related to dihydropyridine-sensitive Ca channels (47-64% amino acid identity) and to the brain class C and D genes (51-55% amino acid identity). To examine the functional significance of the isolated brain cDNAs, hybrid depletion experiments were performed in Xenopus oocytes. Antisense oligonucleotides against class A and B cDNAs each partially inhibited, and a class C oligonucleotide almost fully inhibited, the expression of Ba current in rat brain mRNA injected oocytes; but none of the oligonucleotides affected the expression of voltage-gated Na or K conductances. The clone characterization and sequencing results demonstrate that a number of distinct, yet related, voltage-gated Ca-channel genes are expressed in the brain. The antisense oligonucleotide experiments specifically show that one or several of the Ca-channel classes are related to the Ca channels observed in rat brain mRNA injected oocytes.

PMID:
1692134
PMCID:
PMC53906
DOI:
10.1073/pnas.87.9.3391
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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