• Calyculin A;
  • Phosphatase;
  • Protein kinase C;
  • Ca2+ channels;
  • Pineal gland

Abstract : In the present study, the role of phosphoprotein phosphatase in the regulation of L-type Ca2+ channel currents in rat pinealocytes was investigated using the whole-cell version of the patch-clamp technique. The effects of three phosphatase inhibitors, calyculin A, tautomycin, and okadaic acid, were compared. Although all three inhibitors were effective in inhibiting the L-type Ca2+ channel current, calyculin A was more potent than either tautomycin or okadaic acid, suggesting the involvement of phosphoprotein phosphatase-1. To determine the kinase involved in the regulation of these channels, cells were pretreated with H7 (a nonspecific kinase inhibitor), H89 (a specific inhibitor of cyclic AMP-dependent kinase), KT5823 (a specific inhibitor of cyclic GMP-dependent kinase), or calphostin C (a specific inhibitor of protein kinase C). Pretreatment with either H7 or calphostin C decreased the inhibitory effect of calyculin A on the L-type Ca2+ channel current. In contrast, pretreatment with H89 or KT5823 had no effect on the inhibition caused by calyculin A. Based on these observations, we conclude that basal phosphatase activity, probably phosphoprotein phosphatase-1, plays an important role in the regulation of L-type Ca2+ channel currents in rat pinealocytes by counteracting protein kinase C-mediated phosphorylation.