Author(s): Panner A, Wurster RD
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Abstract The role of T-type Ca2+ channels in proliferation of tumor cells is reviewed. Intracellular Ca2+ is important in controlling proliferation as evidenced by pulses, or oscillations, of intracellular Ca2+ which occur in a cell cycle-dependent manner in many tumor cells. Voltage-gated calcium channels, such as the T-type Ca2+ channel, are well suited to participate in such oscillations due to their unique activation/inactivation properties. Expression of the T-type Ca2+ channels has been reported in numerous types of tumors, and has been shown to be cell cycle-dependent. Overexpression of the alpha1 subunit of T-type Ca2+ channels in human astrocytoma, neuroblastoma and renal tumor cell lines enhanced proliferation of these cells. In contrast, targeting of the alpha1 subunit of the T-type calcium channel via siRNA decreased proliferation of these cells. A Ca2+ oscillatory model is proposed involving potassium channels, Ca2+ stores and Ca2+ exchangers/transporters. A review of T-type channel blockers is presented, with a focus on mibefradil-induced inhibition of proliferation. The development of newer blockers with higher selectivity and less potential side effects are discussed. The conclusion reached is that calcium channel blockers serve as a potential therapeutic approach for tumors whose proliferation depends on T-type calcium channel expression.
This article was published in Cell Calcium
and referenced in Journal of Cell Signaling