Voltage-Gated Calcium Channels

  • M. Wakamori
  • K. Imoto
Reference work entry


Voltage-gated calcium channels (VGCCs) are membrane proteins and mediate Ca2+ influx in response to membrane depolarization to evoke a wide spectrum of cellular responses, which include neurotransmitter release and activation of Ca2+-dependent enzymes. Molecularly, VGCCs are composed of multiple subunits, and their channel properties are primarily determined by the α1 subunits, which form the channel pore and various binding sites for associated proteins and drugs. There are ten genes encoding the α1 subunits. CaV2.1 (P/Q type) and CaV2.2 (N-type) are two major VGCCs in the brain, and are involved in neurotransmitter release. Recent studies revealed differences between them, for example in G-protein mediated modulation and in developmental changes. CaV1 (L-type) VGCCs are involved also in inducing changes in gene expression. CaV3 (T-type) VGCCs activate at subthreshold potentials, and for example play an important role in generating rhythmic activity.


Neurotransmitter Release CaV2 Channel Congenital Stationary Night Blindness Layer Versus Pyramidal Neuron Thalamic Reticular Nucleus Neuron 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

List of Abbreviations


α1 interacting domain


channel-associated transcriptional regulator


complementary DNA


calcitonin gene-related peptide


cholinergic interneurons


G-protein interaction domain


high-voltage activated


low-voltage activated


medium spiny neurons


sodium leak channel


N-terminal spatial Ca2+ transforming element


protein kinase C


Rab3-interacting molecule 1


transmembrane AMPA receptor regulatory protein


voltage-gated calcium channels


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Wakamori
  • K. Imoto

There are no affiliations available

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