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Neuron. 1996 Nov;17(5):991-1003.

Multiple structural elements in voltage-dependent Ca2+ channels support their inhibition by G proteins.

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Department of Molecular and Cellular Physiology, Stanford University, California 94305, USA.


Molecular determinants of Ca2+ channel responsiveness to inhibition by receptor-coupled G proteins were investigated in Xenopus oocytes. The inhibitory response of alpha1B (N-type) channels was much larger than alpha1A (P/Q-type) channels, while alpha1C (L-type) channels were unresponsive. Differences in both degree and speed of inhibition were accounted for by variations in inhibitor off-rate. We tested proposals that inhibitory G protein and Ca2+ channel beta subunits compete specifically at the I-II loop. G protein-mediated inhibition remained unaltered in alpha1B subunits containing a point mutation in the I-II loop segment critical for Ca2+ channel beta subunit binding, and in chimeras where the I-II loop of alpha1B was replaced with counterparts from alpha1A or alpha1c. Full interconversion between modulatory behaviors of alpha1B and alpha1A was achieved only by swapping both motif I and the C-terminus in combination. Thus, essential structural elements for G protein modulation reside in multiple Ca2+ channel domains.

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