Many excitable cells contain at least two different voltage-dependent Ca channels (L- and T-type). The cardiac, slow, L-type Ca channel is further modulated by cyclic AMP-dependent phosphorylation, which increases the probability of it being open, and is readily blocked by Ca channel blockers including dihydropyridines and phenylalkylamines. The tritiated congeners of these blockers bind in vitro to sites which have the same pharmacological characteristics as those observed in vivo, that is, stereospecific and allosteric interaction between distinct sites. The dihydropyridine-binding site purified from skeletal muscle t-tubules contains three peptides of relative molecular mass (Mr) 142,000 (142K), 56K and 31K. The cAMP kinase incorporates one mol phosphate per mol of the 142K peptide and binding of (+)PN-200/110, a potent Ca antagonist, is allosterically affected by D-cis-diltiazem and verapamil. The purified dihydropyridine-receptor complex has also been incorporated into phospholipid bilayer membranes. Here, we show for the first time that the complex can be reconstituted to form a functional 20-pS Ca channel that retains the principal regulatory, biochemical and pharmacological properties of membrane-bound L-type Ca channels.