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Molecular diversity of L-type calcium channels. Evidence for alternative splicing of the transcripts of three non-allelic genes.

E Perez-Reyes, X Y Wei, A Castellano, L Birnbaumer

J. Biol. Chem., 1990 Nov 25 , 265, 20430-6

The diversity of L-type calcium channels was probed using the polymerase chain reaction and primers based on regions conserved in the L-type skeletal muscle (CaCh 1) and cardiac calcium channels (CaCh 2). Related sequences were amplified from human heart, hamster heart, rabbit heart, mouse ovary, mouse BC3H1 cells, and hamster insulin-secreting (HIT) cells. Sequencing of various clones revealed the presence of alternate splicing in gene products coding for CaCh 1, CaCh 2, and a related calcium channel. This related gene product, which we refer to as neuroendocrine or CaCh 3, is expressed in brain and endocrine cells. The diverse products can be explained by the use of alternate exons of equal size, which account for changes in amino acid composition, in combination with an alternate splice acceptor site or an exon skipping event, which produces channels of variable length. Four variants were defined for the gene 3 product, subtypes 3a, 3b, 3c, and 3d that differed in both the sequence of the third membrane spanning segment of the fourth repeat unit (IVS3) and in the size of the linker between this and the fourth membrane spanning segment (IVS4). Three CaCh 2 variants were cloned, subtypes 2a, 2c, and 2d, that are homologous to the a, c, and d variants of CaCh 3. For the skeletal muscle calcium channel only two variants were isolated. They are homologous to those of the a and c subtypes of CaCh 2 or 3, in that they differ only in the size of the IVS3 to IVS4 linker. These results demonstrate that calcium channel diversity is created by both the expression of distinct genes and the alternate splicing of these genes.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2173707