CaV2.2 (N-Type) voltage-gated calcium channels (Ca2+ channels) play key roles in neurons and neuroendocrine cells including the control of cellular excitability, neurotransmitter / hormone secretion, and gene expression. Calcium entry is precisely controlled by channel gating properties including multiple forms of inactivation. "Fast" voltage-dependent inactivation is relatively well-characterized and occurs over the tens-To-hundreds of milliseconds timeframe. Superimposed on this is the molecularly distinct, but poorly understood process of "slow" voltage-dependent inactivation, which develops / recovers over seconds-To-minutes. Protein kinases can modulate "slow" inactivation of sodium channels, but little is known about if/how second messengers control "slow" inactivation of Ca2+ channels. We investigated this using recombinant CaV2.2 channels expressed in HEK293 cells and native CaV2 channels endogenously expressed in adrenal chromaffin cells. The PKC activator phorbol 12-myristate 13-Acetate (PMA) dramatically prolonged recovery from "slow" inactivation, but an inactive control (4α-PMA) had no effect. This effect of PMA was prevented by calphostin C, which targets the C1-domain on PKC, but only partially reduced by inhibitors that target the catalytic domain of PKC. The subtype of the channel β-subunit altered the kinetics of inactivation but not the magnitude of slowing produced by PMA. Intracellular GDP-β-S reduced the effect of PMA suggesting a role for G proteins in modulating "slow" inactivation. We postulate that the kinetics of recovery from "slow" inactivation could provide a molecular memory of recent cellular activity and help control CaV2 channel availability, electrical excitability, and neurotransmission in the seconds-To-minutes timeframe.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes