Structure of the voltage-gated L-type Ca2+ channel by electron cryomicroscopy

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2002 Aug 6;99(16):10370-5. doi: 10.1073/pnas.162363499. Epub 2002 Jul 29.


Voltage-dependent L-type Ca(2+) channels play important functional roles in many excitable cells. We present a three-dimensional structure of an L-type Ca(2+) channel. Electron cryomicroscopy in conjunction with single-particle processing was used to determine a 30-A resolution structure of the channel protein. The asymmetrical channel structure consists of two major regions: a heart-shaped region connected at its widest end with a handle-shaped region. A molecular model is proposed for the arrangement of this skeletal muscle L-type Ca(2+) channel structure with respect to the sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca(2+)-release channel, the physical partner of the L-type channel for signal transduction during the excitation-contraction coupling in muscle.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcium Channels, L-Type / chemistry*
  • Calcium Channels, L-Type / isolation & purification
  • Cryoelectron Microscopy / methods
  • Ion Channel Gating
  • Muscle, Skeletal / chemistry
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Rabbits


  • Calcium Channels, L-Type