PubMed 12821675

Referenced in Channelpedia wiki pages of: none

Automatically associated channels: Kv2.1

Title: The neuronal beta 4 subunit increases the unitary conductance of L-type voltage-gated calcium channels in PC12 cells.

Authors: Jessica M Schjött, Shu-Chan Hsu, Mark R Plummer

Journal, date & volume: J. Biol. Chem., 2003 Sep 5 , 278, 33936-42

PubMed link:

beta subunits of voltage-gated calcium channels influence channel behavior in numerous ways, including enhancing the targeting of alpha1 subunits to the plasma membrane and shifting the voltage dependence of activation and inactivation. Of the four beta subunits that have been identified, beta 4 is of particular interest because mutation of its alpha1 subunit interaction domain produces severe neurological defects. Its differential distribution in the hippocampus prompted us to examine whether this subunit was responsible for the heterogeneity of hippocampal L-type calcium channels. To study the functional effects of the beta 4 subunit on native L-type calcium channels, we transfected beta 4 cDNA subcloned out of embryonic hippocampal neurons into PC12 cells, a cell line that contains the beta 1, beta 2, and beta 3 subunits but not the beta 4 subunit. Cell-attached single-channel recordings of L-type channel activity from untransfected and transfected PC12 cells compared with recordings obtained from hippocampal neurons revealed an effect of the beta 4 subunit on single-channel conductance. L-type channels in untransfected PC12 cells had a significantly smaller conductance (19.8 picosiemens (pS)) than L-type channels in hippocampal neurons (22 pS). After transfection of beta 4, however, L-type single-channel conductance was indistinguishable between the two cell types. Our data suggest that calcium channel beta 4 subunits affect the conductance of L-type calcium channels and that native hippocampal L-type channels contain the beta 4 subunit.