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The CaValpha2delta auxiliary subunit is a glycosylated protein that regulates the trafficking and function of voltage-gated Ca2+ channels. One of the most prominent roles of CaValpha2delta is to increase whole-cell Ca2+ current amplitude. Using N-glycosidase F and truncated forms of CaValpha2delta, earlier studies suggested an important role for N-linked glycosylation in current stimulation. Here, we used site-directed mutagenesis and heterologous expression in HEK-293 cells to examine the impact of individual glycosylation sites within the CaValpha2delta subunit on the regulation of Ba2+ currents through recombinant Ca2+ channels. We found two N-glycosylation consensus sites (NX(S/T)) in the extracellular alpha2 domain of the protein that are functional. Substitution of asparagines for glutamines at amino acid positions 136 and 184 rendered these sites non-functional as shown by patch-clamp experiments. These results corroborate that N-glycosylation is required for the CaValpha2delta subunit-induced current stimulation and suggest that sites N136 and N184 are directly involved in this action. Likewise, N136Q and N184Q mutations prevented whole-cell current stimulation without altering its kinetic properties, suggesting a regulation on the number of functional channels at the plasma membrane.

Dra. Oviedo Norma Angélica