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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A February 20, 1996; 93 (4): 1486-91.

Determinants of the G protein-dependent opioid modulation of neuronal calcium channels.

Bourinet E , Soong TW , Stea A , Snutch TP .

The modulation of a family of cloned neuronal calcium channels by stimulation of a coexpressed mu opioid receptor was studied by transient expression in Xenopus oocytes. Activation of the morphine receptor with the synthetic enkephalin [D-Ala2,N-Me-Phe4,Gly-ol5]enkephalin (DAMGO) resulted in a rapid inhibition of alpha1A (by approximately 20%) and alpha1B (by approximately 55%) currents while alpha1C and alpha1E currents were not significantly affected. The opioid-induced effects on alpha1A and alpha1B currents were blocked by pertussis toxin and the GTP analogue guanosine 5''-[beta-thio]diphosphate. Similar to modulation of native calcium currents, DAMGO induced a slowing of the activation kinetics and exhibited a voltage-dependent inhibition that was partially relieved by application of strong depolarizing pulses. alpha1A currents were still inhibited in the absence of coexpressed Ca channel alpha2 and beta subunits, suggesting that the response is mediated by the alpha1 subunit. Furthermore, the sensitivity of alpha1A currents to DAMGO-induced inhibition was increased approximately 3-fold in the absence of a beta subunit. Overall, the results show that the alpha1A (P/Q type) and the alpha1B (N type) calcium channels are selectively modulated by a GTP-binding protein (G protein). The results raise the possibility of competitive interactions between beta subunit and G protein binding to the alpha1 subunit, shifting gating in opposite directions. At presynaptic terminals, the G protein-dependent inhibition may result in decreased synaptic transmission and play a key role in the analgesic effect of opioids and morphine.

PubMed ID: 8643659
PMC ID: PMC39966
Article link: Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A

References [+] :
Bean, Classes of calcium channels in vertebrate cells. 1989, Pubmed

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