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Voltage-dependent calcium channels (Cav) of the T-type family (Cav3.1, Cav3.2, and Cav3.3) are activated by low threshold membrane depolarization and contribute greatly to neuronal network excitability. Enhanced T-type channel activity, especially Cav3.2, contributes to disease states, including absence epilepsy. Interestingly, the intracellular loop connecting domains I and II (I-II loop) of Cav3.2 channels is implicated in the control of both surface expression and channel gating, indicating that this I-II loop plays an important regulatory role in T-type current. Here we describe that co-expression of this I-II loop or its proximal region (Δ1-Cav3.2; Ser(423)-Pro(542)) together with recombinant full-length Cav3.2 channel inhibited T-type current without affecting channel expression and membrane incorporation. Similar T-type current inhibition was obtained in NG 108-15 neuroblastoma cells that constitutively express Cav3.2 channels. Of interest, Δ1-Cav3.2 inhibited both Cav3.2 and Cav3.1 but not Cav3.3 currents. Efficacy of Δ1-Cav3.2 to inhibit native T-type channels was assessed in thalamic neurons using viral transduction. We describe that T-type current was significantly inhibited in the ventrobasal neurons that express Cav3.1, whereas in nucleus reticularis thalami neurons that express Cav3.2 and Cav3.3 channels, only the fast inactivating T-type current (Cav3.2 component) was significantly inhibited. Altogether, these data describe a new strategy to differentially inhibit Cav3 isoforms of the T-type calcium channels.

Original publication




Journal article


J biol chem

Publication Date





16168 - 16176


Cav3.2, HEK-293T cell line, Sindbis virus, T-type calcium channels, Western blot, calcium channel, neuroblastoma, neuron, patch clamp, thalamic neurons, Animals, Brain, Calcium Channels, T-Type, Humans, Neurons, Protein Structure, Secondary, Rats, Rats, Wistar