Malignant hyperthermia susceptibility (MHS) is characterized by genetic heterogeneity. However, except for the MHS1 locus, which corresponds to the skeletal muscle ryanodine receptor (RYR1) and for which several mutations have been described, no direct molecular evidence for a mutation in another gene has been reported so far. In this study we show that the CACNL1A3 gene encoding the alpha 1-subunit of the human skeletal muscle dihydropyridine-sensitive L-type voltage-dependent calcium channel (VDCC) represents a new MHS locus and is responsible for the disease in a large French family. Linkage analysis performed with an intragenic polymorphic microsatellite marker of the CACLN1A3 gene generated a two-point LOD score of 4.38 at a recombinant fraction of 0. Sequence analysis of the coding region of the CACLN1A3 gene showed the presence of an Arg-His substitution at residue 1086, resulting from the transition of A for G3333, which segregates perfectly with the MHS phenotype in the family. The mutation is localized in a very different part of the alpha 1-subunit of the human skeletal muscle VDCC, compared with previously reported mutations found in patients with hypokalemic periodic paralysis, and these two diseases might be discussed in terms of allelic diseases. This report is the first direct evidence that the skeletal muscle VDCC is involved in MHS, and it suggests a direct interaction between the skeletal muscle VDCC and the ryanodine receptor in the skeletal muscle sarcoplasmic reticulum.