Molecular cloning of the α-1 subunit of an ω-conotoxin-sensitive calcium channel

Stefan J. Dubel, Terry V B Starr, Johannes W Hell, Michael K. Ahlijanian, John J. Enyeart, William A. Catterall, Terry P. Snutch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

272 Scopus citations


Of the four major types of Ca channel described in vertebrate cells (designated T, L, N, and P), N-type Ca channels are unique in that they are found specifically in neurons, have been correlated with control of neurotransmitter release, and are blocked by ω-conotoxin, a neuropeptide toxin isolated from the marine snail Conus geographus. A set of overlapping cDNA clones were isolated and found to encode a Ca channel α-1 subunit, designated rbB-I. Polyclonal antiserum generated against a peptide from the rbB-I sequence selectively immunoprecipitates high-affinity 125I-labeled ω-conotoxin-binding sites from labeled rat forebrain membranes. PCR analysis shows that, like N-type Ca channels, expression of rbB-I is limited to the nervous system and neuronally derived cell lines. This brain Ca channel may mediate the ω-conotoxin-sensitive Ca influx required for neurotransmitter release at many synapses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5058-5062
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • cDNA
  • Dihydropyridine receptor
  • Expression
  • Immunoprecipitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • General


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