Chapter

Calcium Channel α<sub>2</sub>δ Subunits in Epilepsy and as Targets for Antiepileptic Drugs

Annette C. Dolphin

in Jasper's Basic Mechanisms of the Epilepsies

Fourth edition

Published on behalf of ©Jeffrey L. Noebels, Massimo Avoli, Michael A. Rogawski, Richard W. Olsen, and Antonio V. Delgado-Escueta

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780199746545
Published online April 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199322817 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/med/9780199746545.003.0075

Series: Contemporary Neurology Series

Calcium Channel α2δ Subunits in Epilepsy and as Targets for Antiepileptic Drugs

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Voltage-gated calcium (CaV) channels are involved in numerous physiological processes, the most important being muscle contraction, hormone secretion, and synaptic transmission. The pore-forming subunit of CaV channels is the α1 subunit, and this determines the main biophysical and pharmacological properties of the channels (Fig. 75–1). There are three main subgroups of CaV channels, CaV1–3. The low-voltage-activated calcium channels (CaV3 or T-type channels) appear to be able to function well as monomers. However, the high-voltage activated (HVA) CaV1 and CaV2 subfamilies are normally heteromeric, with the α1 subunit being associated with a CaVβ subunit and an α2δ subunit (for reviews see refs. 1–3; Fig. 75–1). Ten mammalian α1 subunits (Fig. 75–1), four β subunits, and four α2δ subunits have been cloned. These are described in more detail below.

Chapter.  8988 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neurology

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