Calcium is important in controlling nuclear gene expression through the activation of multiple signal-transduction pathways in neurons. Compared with other voltage-gated calcium channels, CaV1 channels demonstrate a considerable advantage in signalling to the nucleus. In this review, we summarize the recent progress in elucidating the mechanisms involved. CaV1 channels, already advantaged in their responsiveness to depolarization, trigger communication with the nucleus by attracting colocalized clusters of activated CaMKII (Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II). CaV2 channels lack this ability, but must work at a distance of >1 μm from the CaV1-CaMKII co-clusters, which hampers their relative efficiency for a given rise in bulk [Ca2+]i (intracellular [Ca2+]). Moreover, Ca2+ influx from CaV2 channels is preferentially buffered by the ER (endoplasmic reticulum) and mitochondria, further attenuating their effectiveness in signalling to the nucleus
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