Cav1 L-type Ca2+ channel signaling complexes in neurons


Address correspondence and reprint requests to Amy Lee, PhD, Department of Pharmacology, Emory University School of Medicine, 5123 Rollins Research Bldg., 1510 Clifton Rd., Atlanta, GA 30322, USA. E-mail:


Cav1 L-type Ca2+ channels play crucial and diverse roles in the nervous system. The pre- and post-synaptic functions of Cav1 channels not only depend on their intrinsic biophysical properties but also their dynamic regulation by a host of cellular influences. These include protein kinases and phosphatases, G-protein coupled receptors, scaffolding proteins, and Ca2+-binding proteins. The cytoplasmic domains of the main pore forming α1 subunit of Cav1 offer a number of binding sites for these modulators, permitting fast and localized regulation of Ca2+ entry. Through effects on Cav1 gating, localization, and coupling to effectors, protein modulators are efficiently positioned to adjust Cav1 Ca2+ signals that control neuronal excitability, synaptic plasticity, and gene expression.