PubMed 22719839

Referenced in Channelpedia wiki pages of: none

Automatically associated channels: Cav3.1

Title: Gene transcription and splicing of T-type channels are evolutionarily-conserved strategies for regulating channel expression and gating.

Authors: Adriano Senatore, J David Spafford

Journal, date & volume: PLoS ONE, 2012 , 7, e37409

PubMed link:

T-type calcium channels operate within tightly regulated biophysical constraints for supporting rhythmic firing in the brain, heart and secretory organs of invertebrates and vertebrates. The snail T-type gene, LCa(v)3 from Lymnaea stagnalis, possesses alternative, tandem donor splice sites enabling a choice of a large exon 8b (201 aa) or a short exon 25c (9 aa) in cytoplasmic linkers, similar to mammalian homologs. Inclusion of optional 25c exons in the III-IV linker of T-type channels speeds up kinetics and causes hyperpolarizing shifts in both activation and steady-state inactivation of macroscopic currents. The abundant variant lacking exon 25c is the workhorse of embryonic Ca(v)3 channels, whose high density and right-shifted activation and availability curves are expected to increase pace-making and allow the channels to contribute more significantly to cellular excitation in prenatal tissue. Presence of brain-enriched, optional exon 8b conserved with mammalian Ca(v)3.1 and encompassing the proximal half of the I-II linker, imparts a ~50% reduction in total and surface-expressed LCa(v)3 channel protein, which accounts for reduced whole-cell calcium currents of +8b variants in HEK cells. Evolutionarily conserved optional exons in cytoplasmic linkers of Ca(v)3 channels regulate expression (exon 8b) and a battery of biophysical properties (exon 25c) for tuning specialized firing patterns in different tissues and throughout development.