PubMed 12409298

Title: Gamma 1 subunit interactions within the skeletal muscle L-type voltage-gated calcium channels.

Authors: Jyothi Arikkath, Chien-Chang Chen, Christopher Ahern, Valérie Allamand, Jason D Flanagan, Roberto Coronado, Ronald G Gregg, Kevin P Campbell

Journal, date & volume: J. Biol. Chem., 2003 Jan 10 , 278, 1212-9

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Voltage-gated calcium channels mediate excitationcontraction coupling in the skeletal muscle. Their molecular composition, similar to neuronal channels, includes the pore-forming alpha(1) and auxiliary alpha(2)delta, beta, and gamma subunits. The gamma subunits are the least characterized, and their subunit interactions are unclear. The physiological importance of the neuronal gamma is emphasized by epileptic stargazer mice that lack gamma(2). In this study, we examined the molecular basis of interaction between skeletal gamma(1) and the calcium channel. Our data show that the alpha(1)1.1, beta(1a), and alpha(2)delta subunits are still associated in gamma(1) null mice. Reexpression of gamma(1) and gamma(2) showed that gamma(1), but not gamma(2), incorporates into gamma(1) null channels. By using chimeric constructs, we demonstrate that the first half of the gamma(1) subunit, including the first two transmembrane domains, is important for subunit interaction. Interestingly, this chimera also restores calcium conductance in gamma(1) null myotubes, indicating that the domain mediates both subunit interaction and current modulation. To determine the subunit of the channel that interacts with gamma(1), we examined the channel in muscular dysgenesis mice. Cosedimentation experiments showed that gamma(1) and alpha(2)delta are not associated. Moreover, alpha(1)1.1 and gamma(1) subunits form a complex in transiently transfected cells, indicating direct interaction between the gamma(1) and alpha(1)1.1 subunits. Our data demonstrate that the first half of gamma(1) subunit is required for association with the channel through alpha(1)1.1. Because subunit interactions are conserved, these studies have broad implications for gamma heterogeneity, function and subunit association with voltage-gated calcium channels.