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J Neurosci. 1998 Dec 15;18(24):10320-34.

Gating of the L-type Ca channel in human skeletal myotubes: an activation defect caused by the hypokalemic periodic paralysis mutation R528H.

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Program in Neuroscience, Division of Medical Sciences, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02214, USA.


The skeletal muscle L-type Ca channel serves a dual role as a calcium-conducting pore and as the voltage sensor coupling t-tubule depolarization to calcium release from the sarcoplasmic reticulum. Mutations in this channel cause hypokalemic periodic paralysis (HypoPP), a human autosomal dominant disorder characterized by episodic failure of muscle excitability that occurs in association with a decrease in serum potassium. The voltage-dependent gating of L-type Ca channels was characterized by recording whole-cell Ca currents in myotubes cultured from three normal individuals and from a patient carrying the HypoPP mutation R528H. We found two effects of the R528H mutation on the L-type Ca current in HypoPP myotubes: (1) a mild reduction in current density and (2) a significant slowing of the rate of activation. We also measured the voltage dependence of steady-state L-type Ca current inactivation and characterized, for the first time in a mammalian preparation, the kinetics of both entry into and recovery from inactivation over a wide range of voltages. The R528H mutation had no effect on the kinetics or voltage dependence of inactivation.

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