Voltage‐gated calcium channels and their auxiliary subunits: physiology and pathophysiology and pharmacology
- Annette C. Dolphin
- The Journal of physiology
Ba(2+)-currents (IBa) through voltage-dependent Ca(2+)-channels were studied in Xenopus oocytes injected with RNA from several excitable tissues, using the two-electrode voltage-clamp technique. Previous studies have shown that the expression of cardiac Ca(2+)-channels can be suppressed by an hybrid-arrest procedure that includes co-injection of the tissue-derived RNA with an 'antisense' oligonucleotide complementary to a part of RNA coding for the Ca(2+)-channel alpha 1 subunit. In this study, this method was used to investigate the role of the alpha 2/delta subunit. Co-injection of RNA extracted from either rabbit heart, rat brain or rat skeletal muscle (SkM) with 'antisense' oligonucleotides complementary to the alpha 2/delta subunit RNA did not substantially affect the expression of IBa in the oocytes. Using the Northern blot hybridization method, it was shown that native oocytes contain large amounts of alpha 2/delta subunit RNA of Ca(2+)-channel. It is proposed that te oligonucleotide treatment fails to eliminate the alpha 2/delta RNA because of the vast excess of endogenous alpha 2/delta RNA. These results impose a limit on the use of the hybrid-arrest method.