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A Calcium channel is an ion channel which displays selective permeability to calcium ions. It is sometimes synonymous as voltage-dependent calcium channel,[1] although there are also ligand-gated calcium channels.[2]

Comparison tables

The following tables explain gating, gene, location and function of different types of calcium channels, both voltage and ligand-gated.


Main article: voltage-dependent calcium channel
Type Gated by Protein Gene Location Function
L-type high voltage Cav1.1
Skeletal muscle, bone (osteoblasts), ventricular myocytes**, dendrites and dendritic spines of cortical neurons SMC and cardiac muscle contraction.[3] Responsible for prolonged action potential in cardiac muscle.
P-type/Q-type high voltage Cav2.1 CACNA1A Purkinje neurons in the cerebellum / Cerebellar granule cells neurotransmitter release[3]
N-type high voltage Cav2.2 CACNA1B Throughout the brain neurotransmitter release[3]
R-type intermediate voltage Cav2.3 CACNA1E Cerebellar granule cells, other neurons ?[3]
T-type low voltage Cav3.1
neurons, cells that have pacemaker activity, bone (osteocytes) Regular sinus rhythm[3]


Type Gated by Gene Location Function
IP3 receptor IP3 ITPR1, ITPR2, ITPR3 ER/SR Releases calcium from ER/SR in response to IP3 by e.g. GPCRs[3]
Ryanodine receptor dihydropyridine receptors in T-tubules and increased intracellular calcium (Calcium Induced Calcium Release - CICR) RYR1, RYR2, RYR3 ER/SR Calcium-induced calcium release in myocytes[3]
Two-pore channel
Cation channels of sperm
store-operated channels indirectly by ER/SR depletion of calcium[3] ORAI1, ORAI2, ORAI3 plasma membrane


Calcium channel blockers are used to treat hypertension.


  1. Template:DorlandsDict
  2. Striggow F, Ehrlich BE (August 1996). Ligand-gated calcium channels inside and out. Curr. Opin. Cell Biol. 8 (4): 490–5.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 Rang, H. P. (2003). Pharmacology, Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone. Page 53
  4. Walter F., PhD. Boron (2005). Medical Physiology: A Cellular And Molecular Approach, Elsevier/Saunders. Page 479

External links

  • Voltage-Gated Ion Channels. IUPHAR Database of Receptors and Ion Channels. International Union of Basic and Clinical Pharmacology.
  • TRIP Database. a manually curated database of protein-protein interactions for mammalian TRP channels.

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