Publication Details

Berecki, G., McArthur, J. R., Cuny, H., Clark, R. J. & Adams, D. J. (2014). Differential Cav2.1 and Cav2.3 channel inhibition by baclofen and α-conotoxin Vc1.1 via GABAB receptor activation. Journal of General Physiology, 143 (4), 465-479.


Neuronal Cav2.1 (P/Q-type), Cav2.2 (N-type), and Cav2.3 (R-type) calcium channels contribute to synaptic transmission and are modulated through G protein-coupled receptor pathways. The analgesic α-conotoxin Vc1.1 acts through γ-aminobutyric acid type B (GABAB) receptors (GABABRs) to inhibit Cav2.2 channels. We investigated GABABR-mediated modulation by Vc1.1, a cyclized form of Vc1.1 (c-Vc1.1), and the GABABR agonist baclofen of human Cav2.1 or Cav2.3 channels heterologously expressed in human embryonic kidney cells. 50 µM baclofen inhibited Cav2.1 and Cav2.3 channel Ba2+ currents by ∼40%, whereas c-Vc1.1 did not affect Cav2.1 but potently inhibited Cav2.3, with a half-maximal inhibitory concentration of ∼300 pM. Depolarizing paired pulses revealed that ∼75% of the baclofen inhibition of Cav2.1 was voltage dependent and could be relieved by strong depolarization. In contrast, baclofen or Vc1.1 inhibition of Cav2.3 channels was solely mediated through voltage-independent pathways that could be disrupted by pertussis toxin, guanosine 5′-[β-thio]diphosphate trilithium salt, or the GABABR antagonist CGP55845. Overexpression of the kinase c-Src significantly increased inhibition of Cav2.3 by c-Vc1.1. Conversely, coexpression of a catalytically inactive double mutant form of c-Src or pretreatment with a phosphorylated pp60c-Src peptide abolished the effect of c-Vc1.1. Site-directed mutational analyses of Cav2.3 demonstrated that tyrosines 1761 and 1765 within exon 37 are critical for inhibition of Cav2.3 by c-Vc1.1 and are involved in baclofen inhibition of these channels. Remarkably, point mutations introducing specific c-Src phosphorylation sites into human Cav2.1 channels conferred c-Vc1.1 sensitivity. Our findings show that Vc1.1 inhibition of Cav2.3, which defines Cav2.3 channels as potential targets for analgesic α-conotoxins, is caused by specific c-Src phosphorylation sites in the C terminus.



Link to publisher version (DOI)