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Although N- and P-type Ca2+ channels predominant in fast-secreting systems, Lc-type Ca2+ channels (C-class) can play a similar role in certain secretory cells and synapses. For example, in retinal bipolar cells, Ca2+ entry through the Lc channels triggers ultrafast exocytosis, and in pancreatic beta-cells, evoked secretion is highly sensitive to Ca2+. These findings suggest that a rapidly release pool of vesicles colocalizes with the Ca2+ channels to allow high Ca2+ concentration and a tight coupling of the Lc channels at the release site. In binding studies, we show that the Lc channel is physically associated with synaptotagmin (p65) and the soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive attachment proteins receptors: syntaxin and synaptosomal-associated protein of 25 kDa. Soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive attachent proteins receptors coexpressed in Xenopus oocytes along with the Lc channel modify the kinetic properties of the channel. The modulatory action of syntaxin can be overcome by coexpressing p65, where at a certain ratio of p65/syntaxin, the channel regains its unaltered kinetic parameters. The cytosolic region of the channel, Lc753-893, separating repeats II-III of its alpha1C subunit, interacts with p65 and "pulls" down native p65 from rat brain membranes. Lc753-893 injected into single insulin-secreting beta-cell, inhibits secretion in response to channel opening, but not in response to photolysis of caged Ca2+, nor does it affect Ca2+ current. These results suggest that Lc753-893 competes with the endogenous channel for the synaptic proteins and disrupts the spatial coupling with the secretory apparatus. The molecular organization of the Lc channel and the secretory machinery into a multiprotein complex (named excitosome) appears to be essential for an effective depolarization evoked exocytosis.

Original publication




Journal article


Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A

Publication Date





248 - 253


Amino Acid Sequence, Animals, Calcium Channels, Calcium Signaling, Calcium-Binding Proteins, Egtazic Acid, Electric Conductivity, Exocytosis, Insulin, Insulin Secretion, Islets of Langerhans, Membrane Glycoproteins, Membrane Proteins, Mice, Molecular Sequence Data, Nerve Tissue Proteins, Photolysis, Qa-SNARE Proteins, Rats, Recombinant Fusion Proteins, Synaptosomal-Associated Protein 25, Synaptosomes, Synaptotagmin I, Synaptotagmins