Voltage-gated calcium channels

Unless otherwise stated all data on this page refer to the human proteins. Gene information is provided for human (Hs), mouse (Mm) and rat (Rn).


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Calcium (Ca2+) channels are voltage-gated ion channels present in the membrane of most excitable cells. The nomenclature for Ca2+channels was proposed by [6] and approved by the NC-IUPHAR subcommittee on Ca2+ channels [4]. Ca2+ channels form hetero-oligomeric complexes. The α1 subunit is pore-forming and provides the extracellular binding site(s) for practically all agonists and antagonists. The 10 cloned α-subunits can be grouped into three families: (1) the high-voltage activated dihydropyridine-sensitive (L-type, CaV1.x) channels; (2) the high-voltage activated dihydropyridine-insensitive (CaV2.x) channels and (3) the low-voltage-activated (T-type, CaV3.x) channels. Each α1 subunit has four homologous repeats (I–IV), each repeat having six transmembrane domains and a pore-forming region between transmembrane domains S5 and S6. Gating is thought to be associated with the membrane-spanning S4 segment, which contains highly conserved positive charges. Many of the α1-subunit genes give rise to alternatively spliced products. At least for high-voltage activated channels, it is likely that native channels comprise co-assemblies of α1, β and α2–δ subunits. The γ subunits have not been proven to associate with channels other than α1s. The α2–δ1 and α2–δ2 subunits bind gabapentin and pregabalin.

Channels and Subunits

Cav1.1 Show summary » More detailed page

Cav1.2 Show summary » More detailed page

Cav1.3 Show summary » More detailed page

Cav1.4 Show summary » More detailed page

Cav2.1 Show summary » More detailed page

Cav2.2 Show summary » More detailed page

Cav2.3 Show summary » More detailed page

Cav3.1 Show summary » More detailed page

Cav3.2 Show summary » More detailed page

Cav3.3 Show summary » More detailed page


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Further reading

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NC-IUPHAR subcommittee and family contributors

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How to cite this family page

Database page citation:

Voltage-gated calcium channels. Accessed on 05/08/2015. IUPHAR/BPS Guide to PHARMACOLOGY, http://www.guidetopharmacology.org/GRAC/FamilyDisplayForward?familyId=80.

Concise Guide to PHARMACOLOGY citation:

Alexander SPH, Benson HE, Faccenda E, Pawson AJ, Sharman JL, Catterall WA, Spedding M, Peters JA and Harmar AJ, CGTP Collaborators. (2013) The Concise Guide to PHARMACOLOGY 2013/14: Ion Channels. Br J Pharmacol. 170: 1607–1651.