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Metabotropic Regulation of RhoA/Rho-Associated Kinase by L-Type Ca 2+ Channels

AuthorsUreña, Juan; López-Barneo, José
Issue Date2012
CitationTrends in Cardiovascular Medicine 22(6): 155-160 (2012)
AbstractSustained vascular smooth muscle contraction can be mediated by several mechanisms, including the influx of extracellular Ca 2+ through L-type voltage-gated Ca 2+ channels (LTCCs) and by RhoA/Rho-associated kinase (ROCK)-dependent Ca 2+ sensitization of the contractile machinery. Conformational changes in the LTCC following depolarization can also trigger an ion-independent metabotropic pathway that involves G protein/phospholipase C activation, giving rise to inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate synthesis and subsequent Ca 2+ release from the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) (calcium channel-induced Ca 2+ release or calcium channel-induced calcium release [CCICR]). In this review, we summarize recent data suggesting that LTCC activation and subsequent metabotropic Ca 2+ release from the SR participate in depolarization-evoked RhoA/ROCK activity and sustained arterial contraction. During protracted depolarizations, refilling of the SR stores by a residual influx of extracellular Ca 2+ through LTCCs helps maintain RhoA activity and contractile activation. These findings suggest that CCICR plays a major role in tonic vascular smooth muscle contraction, providing a link between membrane depolarization-induced LTCC activation and metabotropic Ca 2+ release and RhoA/ROCK stimulation. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.
Identifiersdoi: 10.1016/j.tcm.2012.07.013
issn: 1050-1738
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