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Nature. 1989 Jul 20;340(6230):230-3.

Primary structure and functional expression of the cardiac dihydropyridine-sensitive calcium channel.

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Department of Medical Chemistry Kyoto University Faculty of Medicine, Japan.


In cardiac muscle, where Ca2+ influx across the sarcolemma is essential for contraction, the dihydropyridine (DHP)-sensitive L-type calcium channel represents the major entry pathway of extracellular Ca2+. We have previously elucidated the primary structure of the rabbit skeletal muscle DHP receptor by cloning and sequencing the complementary DNA. An expression plasmid carrying this cDNA, microinjected into cultured skeletal muscle cells from mice with muscular dysgenesis, has been shown to restore both excitation-contraction coupling and slow calcium current missing from these cells, so that a dual role for the DHP receptor in skeletal muscle transverse tubules is suggested. We report here the complete amino-acid sequence of the rabbit cardiac DHP receptor, deduced from the cDNA sequence. We also show that messenger RNA derived from the cardiac DHP receptor cDNA is sufficient to direct the formation of a functional DHP-sensitive calcium channel in Xenopus oocytes. Furthermore, higher calcium-channel activity is observed when mRNA specific for the polypeptide of relative molecular mass approximately 140,000 (alpha 2-subunit) associated with skeletal muscle DHP receptor is co-injected.

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