CaV1.2 signaling complexes in the heart

Robert D. Harvey, Johannes W Hell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


L-type Ca2+ channels (LTCCs) are essential for generation of the electrical and mechanical properties of cardiac muscle. Furthermore, regulation of LTCC activity plays a central role in mediating the effects of sympathetic stimulation on the heart. The primary mechanism responsible for this regulation involves β-adrenergic receptor (βAR) stimulation of cAMP production and subsequent activation of protein kinase A (PKA). Although it is well established that PKA-dependent phosphorylation regulates LTCC function, there is still much we do not understand. However, it has recently become clear that the interaction of the various signaling proteins involved is not left to completely stochastic events due to random diffusion. The primary LTCC expressed in cardiac muscle, CaV1.2, forms a supramolecular signaling complex that includes the β2AR, G proteins, adenylyl cyclases, phosphodiesterases, PKA, and protein phosphatases. In some cases, the protein interactions with CaV1.2 appear to be direct, in other cases they involve scaffolding proteins such as A kinase anchoring proteins and caveolin-3. Functional evidence also suggests that the targeting of these signaling proteins to specific membrane domains plays a critical role in maintaining the fidelity of receptor mediated LTCC regulation. This information helps explain the phenomenon of compartmentation, whereby different receptors, all linked to the production of a common diffusible second messenger, can vary in their ability to regulate LTCC activity. The purpose of this review is to examine our current understanding of the signaling complexes involved in cardiac LTCC regulation. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled "Calcium Signaling in Heart".

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)143-152
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 2013


  • β-Adrenergic receptor
  • A kinase anchoring protein
  • Calcium channel
  • Cardiac myocyte
  • E type prostaglandin receptor
  • Protein kinase A

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Ca<sub>V</sub>1.2 signaling complexes in the heart'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this