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Grina/TMBIM3 is a poorly characterized transmembrane protein with a broad expression pattern in mammals and with a very ancient origin within eukaryotes. Although initially characterized as an NMDA-receptor associated subunit, there is increasing evidence that Grina/TMBIM3 is involved in the unfolded protein response and controls apoptosis via regulation of Ca homeostasis. Here, we investigate a putative direct interaction of Grina/TMBIM3 with voltage gated Ca channels, in particular with the Ca2.2 α1-subunit and describe its modulatory effects on the current through Ca2.2 N-type channels. Direct interaction was confirmed by co-immunoprecipitation studies and membrane localization was proven. Co-expression of Grina/TMBIM3 with Ca2.2 channels resulted in a significant decrease of the current amplitude and in a slowing of the kinetics of current activation. This effect was accompanied by a significant shift of the voltage dependencies of activation time constants towards more depolarized voltages. Application of a stimulus protocol including a strong depolarizing pulse relieved inhibition of current amplitude by Grina/TMBIM3. When Grina/TMBIM3 was present, inactivation by an action potential-like train of pulses was diminished. Both observations resemble mechanisms that are well-studied modulatory effects of G-protein βγ subunits on Ca2 channels. The impact of Grina/TMBIM3 and G-protein βγ subunits are rather comparable with respect to suppression of current amplitude and slowing of activation kinetics. Furthermore, both modulators had the same effect on current inactivation when evoked by an action potential-like train of pulses.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Cell calcium
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