Functional expression and characterization of a voltage-gated CaV1.3 (alpha1D) calcium channel subunit from an insulin-secreting cell line

Mol Endocrinol. 2001 Jul;15(7):1211-21. doi: 10.1210/mend.15.7.0666.


L-type calcium channels mediate depolarization-induced calcium influx in insulin-secreting cells and are thought to be modulated by G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). The major fraction of L-type alpha1-subunits in pancreatic beta-cells is of the neuroendocrine subtype (CaV1.3 or alpha1D). Here we studied the biophysical properties and receptor regulation of a CaV1.3 subunit previously cloned from HIT-T15 cells. In doing so, we compared this neuroendocrine CaV1.3 channel with the cardiac L-type channel CaV1.2a (or alpha1C-a) after expression together with alpha2delta- and beta3-subunits in Xenopus oocytes. Both the current voltage relation and voltage dependence of inactivation for the neuroendocrine CaV1.3 channel were shifted to more negative potentials compared with the cardiac CaV1.2 channel. In addition, the CaV1.3 channel activated and inactivated more rapidly than the CaV1.2a channel. Both subtypes showed a similar sensitivity to the dihydropyridine (+)isradipine. More interestingly, the CaV1.3 channels were found to be stimulated by ligand-bound G(i)/G(o)-coupled GPCRs whereas a neuronal CaV2.2 (or alpha1B) channel was inhibited. The observed receptor-induced stimulation of CaV1.3 channels could be mimicked by phorbol-12-myristate-13-acetate and was sensitive to inhibitors of protein kinases, but not to the phosphoinositol-3-kinase-inhibitor wortmannin, pointing to serine/threonine kinase-dependent regulation. Taken together, we describe a neuroendocrine L-type CaV1.3 calcium channel that is stimulated by G(i)/G(o)-coupled GPCRs and differs significantly in distinct biophysical characteristics from the cardiac subtype (CaV1.2a), suggesting that the channels have different roles in native cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Androstadienes / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Barium / metabolism
  • Calcium Channels / drug effects
  • Calcium Channels / genetics*
  • Calcium Channels / physiology
  • Calcium Channels, L-Type / drug effects
  • Calcium Channels, L-Type / genetics*
  • Calcium Channels, L-Type / physiology
  • Dihydropyridines / pharmacology
  • Electric Conductivity
  • Enkephalin, Ala(2)-MePhe(4)-Gly(5)- / pharmacology
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Female
  • GTP-Binding Proteins / physiology
  • Gene Expression
  • Ion Channel Gating / physiology*
  • Isradipine / pharmacology
  • Myocardium / chemistry
  • Neurons / chemistry
  • Oocytes / metabolism
  • Phosphoinositide-3 Kinase Inhibitors
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors
  • Receptors, Opioid, mu / agonists
  • Tetradecanoylphorbol Acetate / pharmacology
  • Wortmannin
  • Xenopus laevis


  • Androstadienes
  • Calcium Channels
  • Calcium Channels, L-Type
  • Dihydropyridines
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Phosphoinositide-3 Kinase Inhibitors
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors
  • Receptors, Opioid, mu
  • Enkephalin, Ala(2)-MePhe(4)-Gly(5)-
  • Barium
  • 1,4-dihydropyridine
  • GTP-Binding Proteins
  • Tetradecanoylphorbol Acetate
  • Wortmannin
  • Isradipine