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Medicina (Kaunas). 2008;44(7):491-9.

L-type Ca2+ channels in the heart: structure and regulation.

[Article in English, Lithuanian]

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Institute of Cardiology, Kaunas University of Medicine, Sukileliu 17, 50161 Kaunas, Lithuania.


This review analyzes the structure and regulation mechanisms of voltage-dependent L-type Ca(2+) channel in the heart. L-type Ca(2+) channels in the heart are composed of four different polypeptide subunits, and the pore-forming subunit alpha(1) is the most important part of the channel. In cardiac myocytes, Ca(2+) enter cell cytoplasm from extracellular space mainly through L-type Ca(2+) channels; these channels are very important system in heart Ca(2+) uptake regulation. L-type Ca(2+) channels are responsible for the activation of sarcoplasmic reticulum channels (RyR2) and force of muscle contraction generation in heart; hence, activity of the heart depends on L-type Ca(2+) channels. Phosphorylation of channel-forming subunits by different kinases is one of the most important ways to change the activity of L-type Ca(2+) channel. Additionally, the activity of L-type Ca(2+) channels depends on Ca(2+) concentration in cytoplasm. Ca(2+) current in cardiac cells can facilitate, and this process is regulated by phosphorylation of L-type Ca(2+) channels and intracellular Ca(2+) concentration. Disturbances in cellular Ca(2+) transport and regulation of L-type Ca(2+) channels are directly related to heart diseases, life quality, and life span.

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