Introductory Review: Calcium Channels and Modulation

  • L. Gandía
  • A. Albillos
  • C. Montiel
  • A. G. García


Voltage-dependent Ca2+ channels are strategically located in the plasmalemma of excitable cells to initiate, mediate, or regulate important and different Ca2+-dependent functions, i. e., cell excitability, muscle contraction, neurotransmitter and hormone release, or gene transcription. The combination of patch-clamp techniques (Hamill et al. 1981) with various marine and insect atoxins (Olivera et al. 1994) as well as molecular biology approaches (Striessnig et al. 1998), have revealed a considerable diversity in their primary structures, biophysics, pharmacology, regulation, and expression in different mammalian tissues and species. This introductory review to the section of “Ca2+ currents and modulation” of this book deals with aspects related to the diversity of Ca2+ channels, their kinetic and pharmacological characteristics, their species differences, their molecular structure and their regulation by voltage, [Ca2+]i, phosphorylation and intracellular second messengers. Their regulation by neurotransmitters via a membrane-delimited G-protein pathway is discussed in a more detailed manner in the chapter “Exocytosis calcium channels: autocrine/paracrine modulation” in this section of the book. Several reviews that deal in more detail with these different aspects of Ca2+ channels are available (Hagiwara and Byerly 1981; Carbone and Swandulla 1989; Scott et al. 1991; Tsien et al. 1991; Olivera et al. 1994; Hille, 1994; Hoffmann et al. 1994; Wickman and Clapham 1995; Garcia et al. 1997; Uchitel, 1997; Dolphin 1998).


Chromaffin Cell Adrenal Chromaffin Cell Channel Subtype Bovine Chromaffin Cell Superior Cervical Ganglion Neuron 
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Copyright information

© Springer Japan 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. Gandía
    • 1
  • A. Albillos
    • 1
  • C. Montiel
    • 1
  • A. G. García
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Instituto de Farmacología Teófilo Hernando, Departamento de Farmacología, Facultad de MedicinaUniversidad Autónoma de MadridMadridSpain
  2. 2.Servicio de Farmacología Clínica and Instituto de GerontologíaHospital Universitario de la PrincesaMadridSpain

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