Voltage-gated calcium channels (VGCCs), also known as voltage-dependent calcium channels (VDCCs), are a group of voltage-gated ion channels found in the membrane of excitable cells (e.g., muscle, glial cells, neurons, etc.) with a permeability to the calcium ion Ca2+. These channels are slightly permeable to sodium ions, so they are also called Ca2+-Na+ channels, but their permeability to calcium is about 1000-fold greater than to sodium under normal physiological conditions. At physiologic or resting membrane potential, VGCCs are normally closed. They are activated (i.e., opened) at depolarized membrane potentials and this is the source of the 'voltage-gated' epithet. The concentration of calcium (Ca2+ ions) is normally several thousand times higher outside the cell than inside. Activation of particular VGCCs allows a Ca2+ influx into the cell, which, depending on the cell type, results in activation of calcium-sensitive potassium channels, muscular contraction, excitation of neurons, up-regulation of gene expression, or release of hormones or neurotransmitters. VGCCs have been immunolocalized in the zona glomerulosa of normal and hyperplastic human adrenal, as well as in aldosterone-producing adenomas (APA), and in the latter T-type VGCCs correlated with plasma aldosterone levels of patients. Excessive activation of VGCCs is a major component of excitotoxicity, as severely elevated levels of intracellular calcium activates enzymes which, at high enough levels, can degrade essential cellular structures. (hgnc.genefamily:1515)



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Incoming Relations

Identifier Name Relation
HGNC:1404 CACNB4 isa
HGNC:1403 CACNB3 isa
HGNC:1401 CACNB1 isa
HGNC:1402 CACNB2 isa

Outgoing Relations

Relation Identifier Name