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Trends Neurosci. 1996 Jan;19(1):35-43.

Facilitation of Ca2+ current in excitable cells.

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Dept of Pharmacology, Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine, London, UK.


Voltage-dependent Ca2+ channels are one of the main routes for the entry of Ca2+ into excitable cells. These channels are unique in cell-signalling terms in that they can transduce an electrical signal (membrane depolarization) via Ca2+ entry into a chemical signal, by virtue of the diverse range of intracellular Ca(2+)-dependent enzymes and processes. In a variety of cell types, currents through voltage-dependent Ca2+ channels can be increased in amplitude by a number of means. Although the term facilitation was originally defined as an increase of Ca2+ current resulting from one or a train of prepulses to depolarizing voltages, there is a great deal of overlap between facilitation by this means and enhancement by other routes, such as phosphorylation.

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