Subunit identification and reconstitution of the N-type Ca2+ channel complex purified from brain

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Science  23 Jul 1993:
Vol. 261, Issue 5120, pp. 486-489
DOI: 10.1126/science.8392754


Calcium channels play an important role in regulating various neuronal processes, including synaptic transmission and cellular plasticity. The N-type calcium channels, which are sensitive to omega-conotoxin, are involved in the control of transmitter release from neurons. A functional N-type calcium channel complex was purified from rabbit brain. The channel consists of a 230-kilodalton subunit (alpha 1B) that is tightly associated with a 160-kilodalton subunit (alpha 2 delta), a 57-kilodalton subunit (beta 3), and a 95-kilodalton glycoprotein subunit. The complex formed a functional calcium channel with the same pharmacological properties and conductance as those of the native omega-conotoxin-sensitive calcium channel in neurons.