• Jenkins MA, Christel CJ, Jiao Y, Abiria S, Kim KY, Usachev YM, Obermair GJ, Colbran RJ, Lee A. Ca2+-dependent facilitation of Cav1.3 Ca2+ channels by densin and Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience. 2010 Apr 14;30(15). 5125-35. PMID: 20392935 [PubMed]. PMCID: PMC2990970. NIHMSID: NIHMS195664.

Abstract 

Ca(v)1 (L-type) channels and calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) are key regulators of Ca(2+) signaling in neurons. CaMKII directly potentiates the activity of Ca(v)1.2 and Ca(v)1.3 channels, but the underlying molecular mechanisms are incompletely understood. Here, we report that the CaMKII-associated protein densin is required for Ca(2+)-dependent facilitation of Ca(v)1.3 channels. While neither CaMKII nor densin independently affects Ca(v)1.3 properties in transfected HEK293T cells, the two together augment Ca(v)1.3 Ca(2+) currents during repetitive, but not sustained, depolarizing stimuli. Facilitation requires Ca(2+), CaMKII activation, and its association with densin, as well as densin binding to the Ca(v)1.3 alpha(1) subunit C-terminal domain. Ca(v)1.3 channels and densin are targeted to dendritic spines in neurons and form a complex with CaMKII in the brain. Our results demonstrate a novel mechanism for Ca(2+)-dependent facilitation that may intensify postsynaptic Ca(2+) signals during high-frequency stimulation.