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-1E gives rise to R-type calcium currents. R-type calcium channels belong to the 'high-voltage activated' (hva) group and are blocked by nickel, and partially by omega-agatoxin-iiia (omega-aga-IIIA). They are however insensitive to dihydropyridines (DHP), omega-conotoxin-GVIA (omega-ctx-GVIA), and omega-agatoxin-IVA (omega-aga-IVA). Calcium channels contaning alpha-1e subunit could be involved in the modulation of firing patterns of neurons.
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