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Letters to Nature
Nature 340, 230 - 233 (20 July 1989); doi:10.1038/340230a0

Primary structure and functional expression of the cardiac dihydropyridine-sensitive calcium channel

Atsushi Mikami, Keiji Imoto, Tsutomu Tanabe, Tetsuhiro Niidome, Yasuo Mori, Hiroshi Takeshima, Shuh Narumiya* & Shosaku Numa

Departments of Medical Chemistry and Molecular Genetics, Kyoto University Faculty of Medicine, Kyoto 606, Japan
* Present address: Department of Pharmacology, Kyoto University Faculty of Medicine, Kyoto 606, Japan.

IN cardiac muscle, where Ca2+ influx across the sarcolemma is essential for contraction, the dihydropyridine (DHP)-sensitive L-type calcium channel1 represents the major entry pathway of extracellular Ca2+. We have previously elucidated the primary structure of the rabbit skeletal muscle DHP receptor by cloning and sequencing the complementary DNA2. An expression plasmid carrying this cDNA, microinjected into cultured skeletal muscle cells from mice with muscular dysgenesis, has been shown to restore both excitation-contraction coupling and slow calcium current missing from these cells, so that a dual role for the DHP receptor in skeletal muscle transverse tubules is suggested3. We report here the complete amino-acid sequence of the rabbit cardiac DHP receptor, deduced from the cDNA sequence. We also show that messenger RNA derived from the cardiac DHP receptor cDNA is sufficient to direct the formation of a functional DHP-sensitive calcium channel in Xenopus oocytes. Furthermore, higher calcium-channel activity is observed when mRNA specific for the polypeptide of relative molecular mass ~140,000 (α2-subunit)4–6 associated with the skeletal muscle DHP receptor is co-injected.

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