Voltage-Gated Calcium Channels: Structure and Function (CACNA)
Reference work entry
Voltage-gated calcium channels (CaV) are a family of complex proteins that conduct Ca 2+ into the cell cytoplasm through a large pore-forming α 1 subunit of 190–250 kDa. They are divided into three major families CaV1.x, CaV2.x, and CaV3.x based on sequence homology of the α 1 subunit. In turn, each subfamily is comprised of four (CaV1.1–CaV1.4) or three (CaV2.1–2.3; CaV3.1–3.3) members derived from separate genes (Catterall et al. 2005). The α 1 subunits are variably associated with β, α 2δ, and γ accessory proteins that modulate expression, targeting, voltage dependence, and kinetic characteristics (Fig. 1a) (Catterall et al. 2005; Buraei and Yang 2010). Moreover, splice variants of the α 1 subunit can account for tissue-specific behavior. Alternate classification schemes exist. Table 1shows the early nomenclature; L-, P/Q-, N-, R-, and T-type, and its relationship to more modern schemes based on...
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