Voltage-gated Ca(2+) (Cav) channels regulate a variety of biological processes, such as muscle contraction, gene expression, and neurotransmitter release. Cav channels are subject to diverse forms of regulation, including those involving the Ca(2+) ions that permeate the pore. High voltage-activated Cav channels undergo Ca(2+)-dependent inactivation (CDI) and facilitation (CDF), which can regulate processes such as cardiac rhythm and synaptic plasticity. CDI and CDF differ slightly between Cav1 (L-type) and Cav2 (P/Q-, N-, and R-type) channels. Human embryonic kidney cells transformed with SV40 large T-antigen (HEK-293T) are advantageous for studying CDI and CDF of a particular type of Cav channel. HEK-293T cells do not express endogenous Cav channels, but Cav channels can be expressed exogenously at high levels in these cells by transient transfection. This protocol describes how to characterize and analyze Ca(2+)-dependent modulation of recombinant Cav channels in HEK-293T cells.
© 2016 Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.