Potentiation by the beta subunit of the ratio of the ionic current to the charge movement in the cardiac calcium channel

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Science  22 Oct 1993:
Vol. 262, Issue 5133, pp. 575-578
DOI: 10.1126/science.8211185


The voltage-activated rabbit cardiac calcium channel alpha 1 subunit was expressed in Xenopus oocytes. The charge movement of its voltage sensor was measured and related to the opening of the ion-conducting pore. The half-activation potential for charge movement was 35 millivolts more negative than that for pore opening. Coexpression of the cardiac calcium channel beta subunit reduced this difference without affecting charge movement. Thus, intramolecular coupling between the voltage sensor and the channel pore opening can be facilitated by a regulatory subunit.

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