Ca2+-sensitive regulation of E-type Ca2+ channel activity depends on an arginine-rich region in the cytosolic II–III loop


: Professor U. Klöckner, as above.


Ca2+-dependent regulation of L-type and P/Q-type Ca2+ channel activity is an important mechanism to control Ca2+ entry into excitable cells. Here we addressed the question whether the activity of E-type Ca2+ channels can also be controlled by Ca2+. Switching from Ba2+ to Ca2+ as charge carrier increased within 50 s, the density of currents observed in HEK-293 cells expressing a human Cav2.3d subunit and slowed down the inactivation kinetics. Furthermore, with Ca2+ as permeant ion, recovery from inactivation was accelerated, compared to the recovery process recorded under conditions where the accumulation of [Ca2+]i was prevented. In a Ba2+ containing bath solution the Ca2+-dependent changes of E-type channel activity could be induced by dialysing the cells with 1 µm free [Ca2+]i suggesting that an elevation of [Ca2+]i is responsible for these effects. Deleting 19 amino acids in the intracellular II–III linker (exon 19) as part of an arginine-rich region, severely impairs the Ca2+ responsiveness of the expressed channels. Interestingly, deletion of an adjacent homologue arginine-rich region activates channel activity but now independently from [Ca2+]i. As a positive feedback-regulation of channel activity this novel activation mechanism might determine specific biological functions of E-type Ca2+ channels.