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Multiple structural elements contribute to the slow kinetics of the Cav3.3 T-type channel.

Jin-Yong Park, Ho-Won Kang, Seong-Woo Jeong, Jung-Ha Lee

J. Biol. Chem., 2004 May 21 , 279, 21707-13

Molecular cloning and expression studies established the existence of three T-type Ca(2+) channel (Ca(v)3) alpha(1) subunits: Ca(v)3.1 (alpha(1G)), Ca(v)3.2 (alpha(1H)), and Ca(v)3.3 (alpha(1I)). Although all three channels are low voltage-activated, they display considerable differences in their kinetics, with Ca(v)3.1 and Ca(v)3.2 channels activating and inactivating much faster than Ca(v)3.3 channels. The goal of the present study was to determine the structural elements that confer the distinctively slow kinetics of Ca(v)3.3 channels. To address this question, a series of chimeric channels between Ca(v)3.1 and Ca(v)3.3 channels were constructed and expressed in Xenopus oocytes. Kinetic analysis showed that the slow activation and inactivation kinetics of the Ca(v)3.3 channel were not completely abolished by substitution with any one portion of the Ca(v)3.1 channel. Likewise, the Ca(v)3.1 channel failed to acquire the slow kinetics by simply adopting one portion of the Ca(v)3.3 channel. These findings suggest that multiple structural elements contribute to the slow kinetics of Ca(v)3.3 channels.