Human neuronal voltage-dependent calcium channels: studies on subunit structure and role in channel assembly.

Article Details


Brust PF, Simerson S, McCue AF, Deal CR, Schoonmaker S, Williams ME, Velicelebi G, Johnson EC, Harpold MM, Ellis SB

Human neuronal voltage-dependent calcium channels: studies on subunit structure and role in channel assembly.

Neuropharmacology. 1993 Nov;32(11):1089-102.

PubMed ID
8107964 [ View in PubMed

Voltage-dependent calcium (Ca2+) channels, expressed in the CNS, appear to be multimeric complexes comprised of at least alpha 1, alpha 2 and beta subunits. Previously, we cloned and expressed human neuronal alpha 1, alpha 2 and beta subunits to study recombinant channel complexes that display properties of those expressed in vivo. The alpha 1B-mediated channel subtype binds omega-conotoxin (CgTx) GVIA with high affinity and exhibits properties of N-type voltage-dependent Ca2+ channels. Here we describe several alpha 2 and beta splice variants and report results on the expression of omega-CgTx GVIA binding sites, assembly of the subunit complex and biophysical function of alpha 1B-mediated channel complexes containing some of these splice variants. We optimized recombinant expression in human embryonic kidney (HEK) 293 cells of alpha 1B alpha 2b beta 1 subunit complexes by controlling the expression levels of subunit mRNAs and monitored cell surface expression by binding of omega-CgTx GVIA to the alpha 1B subunit. Co-expression of either alpha 2b or beta 1 subunits with an alpha 1B subunit increased expression of binding sites while the most efficient expression was achieved when both alpha 2b and beta 1 subunits were co-expressed with an alpha 1B subunit. The presence of alpha 2b affects the affinity of omega-CgTx GVIA binding and barium (Ba2+) current magnitudes, although it does not appear to alter kinetic properties of the Ba2+ current. This is the first evidence of an alpha 2 subunit modulating the binding affinity of a cell-surface Ca2+ channel ligand. Our results demonstrate that alpha 1, alpha 2 and beta subunits together contribute to the efficient assembly and functional expression of voltage-dependent Ca2+ channel complexes.

DrugBank Data that Cites this Article

NameUniProt ID
Voltage-dependent L-type calcium channel subunit beta-1Q02641Details
Voltage-dependent calcium channel subunit alpha-2/delta-1P54289Details