Full-length sequence (>6.5 kb) has been determined for the CaV1.3 pore-forming subunit of the voltage-gated Ca2+ channel from the saccular hair cells of the rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). Primary structure was obtained from overlapping PCR and cloned fragments, amplified by primers based on teleost, avian, and mammalian sources. Trout saccular CaV1.3 was localized to hair cells, as evidenced by its isolation from an epithelial layer in which the hair cell is the only intact cell type. The predicted amino acid sequence of the trout hair cell CaV1.3 is approximately 70% identical to the sequences of avian and mammalian CaV1.3 subunits and shows L-type characteristics. The trout hair cell CaV1.3 expresses a 26-aa insert in the I-II cytoplasmic loop (exon 9a) and a 10-aa insert in the IVS2-IVS3 cytoplasmic loop (exon 30a), neither of which is appreciably represented in trout brain. The exon 9a insert also occurs in hair cell organs of chick and rat, and appears as an exon in human genomic CaV1.3 sequence (but not in the CaV1.3 coding sequence expressed in human brain or pancreas). The exon 30a insert, although expressed in hair cells of chick as well as trout, does not appear in comparable rat or human tissues. Further, the IIIS2 region shows a splice choice (exon 22a) that is associated with the hair cell organs of trout, chick, and rat, but is not found in human genomic sequence. The elucidation of the primary structure of the voltage-gated Ca2+ channel CaV1.3 subunit from hair cells of the teleost, representing the lowest of the vertebrate classes, suggests a generality of sensory mechanism for CaV1.3 across hair cell systems. In particular, the exon 9a insert of this channel appears to be the molecular feature most consistently associated with hair cells from fish to mammal, consonant with the hypothesis that the latter region may be a signature for the hair cell.
- Calcium channel β subunit
- Calcium-dependent inactivation
- Hair cell
- L-type voltage-gated calcium channel
- Synaptic complex