Voltage-sensitive calcium channels (VSCCs) mediate the entry of calcium ions into excitable cells and are also involved in a variety of calcium-dependent processes, including muscle contraction, hormone or neurotransmitter release, gene expression, cell motility, cell division and cell death. The isoform alpha-1b gives rise to N-type calcium currents. N-type calcium channels belong to the 'high-voltage activated' (hva) group and are blocked by omega-conotoxin-GVIA (omega-ctx-GVIA) and by omega-agatoxin-IIIA (omega-aga-IIIA). They are however insensitive to dihydropyridines (dhp), and omega-agatoxin-IVA (omega- aga-IVA). Calcium channels containing alpha-1b subunit may play a role in directed migration of immature neurons.
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