Inactivation of L-type Ca channels (LTCC) is regulated by both Ca and voltage-dependent processes (CDI and VDI). To differentiate VDI and CDI, several experimental and theoretical studies have considered the inactivation of Ba current through LTCC (I Ba) as a measure of VDI. However, there is evidence that Ba can weakly mimic Ca, such that I Ba inactivation is still a mixture of CDI and VDI. To avoid this complication, some have used the monovalent cation current through LTCC (I NS), which can be measured when divalent cation concentrations are very low. Notably, I NS inactivation rate does not depend on current amplitude, and hence may reflect purely VDI. However, based on analysis of existent and new data, and modeling, we find that I NS can inactivate more rapidly and completely than I Ba, especially at physiological temperature. Thus VDI that occurs during I Ba (or I Ca) must differ intrinsically from VDI during I NS. To account for this, we have extended a previously published LTCC mathematical model of VDI and CDI into an excitation-contraction coupling model, and assessed whether and how experimental I Ba inactivation results (traditionally used in VDI experiments and models) could be recapitulated by modifying CDI to account for Ba-dependent inactivation. Thus, the view of a slow and incomplete I NS inactivation should be revised, and I NS inactivation is a poor measure of VDI during I Ca or I Ba. This complicates VDI analysis experimentally, but raises intriguing new questions about how the molecular mechanisms of VDI differ for divalent and monovalent currents through LTCCs.
- Barium current
- Calcium-dependent inactivation
- L-type calcium current
- Non specific current
- Voltage-dependent inactivation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology