Targeting mechanisms of high voltage-activated Ca2+ channels

J Bioenerg Biomembr. 2003 Dec;35(6):621-37. doi: 10.1023/b:jobb.0000008027.19384.c0.


Functional voltage-dependent Ca2+ channel complexes are assembled by three to four subunits: alpha1, beta, alpha2delta subunits (C. Leveque et al., 1994, J. Biol Chem. 269, 6306-6312; M. W. McEnery et al., 1991, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 88, 11095-11099) and at least in muscle cells also y subunits (B. M. Curtis and W. A. Catterall, 1984, Biochemistry 23, 2113-2118). Ca2+ channels mediate the voltage-dependent Ca2+ influx in subcellular compartments, triggering such diverse processes as neurotransmitter release, dendritic action potentials, excitation-contraction, and excitation-transcription coupling. The targeting of biophysically defined Ca2+ channel complexes to the correct subcellular structures is, thus, critical to proper cell and physiological functioning. Despite their importance, surprisingly little is known about the targeting mechanisms by which Ca2+ channel complexes are transported to their site of function. Here we summarize what we know about the targeting of Ca2+ channel complexes through the cell to the plasma membrane and subcellular structures.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Calcium Channels / chemistry*
  • Calcium Channels / genetics
  • Calcium Channels / metabolism*
  • Cell Membrane / physiology*
  • Gene Expression Regulation / physiology
  • Gene Targeting / methods
  • Humans
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism*
  • Myocardium / metabolism*
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Organ Specificity
  • Protein Transport / physiology*
  • Recombinant Proteins / chemistry
  • Recombinant Proteins / metabolism
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Tissue Distribution


  • Calcium Channels
  • Recombinant Proteins