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J Biol Chem. 2010 Jul 23;285(30):22853-63. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M110.111062. Epub 2010 May 17.

Molecular determinants of the CaVbeta-induced plasma membrane targeting of the CaV1.2 channel.

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Institute of Neurophysiology and Center for Molecular Medicine, Cologne University, D-50931 Cologne, Germany.


Ca(V)beta subunits modulate cell surface expression and voltage-dependent gating of high voltage-activated (HVA) Ca(V)1 and Ca(V)2 alpha1 subunits. High affinity Ca(V)beta binding onto the so-called alpha interaction domain of the I-II linker of the Ca(V)alpha1 subunit is required for Ca(V)beta modulation of HVA channel gating. It has been suggested, however, that Ca(V)beta-mediated plasma membrane targeting could be uncoupled from Ca(V)beta-mediated modulation of channel gating. In addition to Ca(V)beta, Ca(V)alpha2delta and calmodulin have been proposed to play important roles in HVA channel targeting. Indeed we show that co-expression of Ca(V)alpha2delta caused a 5-fold stimulation of the whole cell currents measured with Ca(V)1.2 and Ca(V)beta3. To gauge the synergetic role of auxiliary subunits in the steady-state plasma membrane expression of Ca(V)1.2, extracellularly tagged Ca(V)1.2 proteins were quantified using fluorescence-activated cell sorting analysis. Co-expression of Ca(V)1.2 with either Ca(V)alpha2delta, calmodulin wild type, or apocalmodulin (alone or in combination) failed to promote the detection of fluorescently labeled Ca(V)1.2 subunits. In contrast, co-expression with Ca(V)beta3 stimulated plasma membrane expression of Ca(V)1.2 by a 10-fold factor. Mutations within the alpha interaction domain of Ca(V)1.2 or within the nucleotide kinase domain of Ca(V)beta3 disrupted the Ca(V)beta3-induced plasma membrane targeting of Ca(V)1.2. Altogether, these data support a model where high affinity binding of Ca(V)beta to the I-II linker of Ca(V)alpha1 largely accounts for Ca(V)beta-induced plasma membrane targeting of Ca(V)1.2.

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