G-proteins and G-protein subunits mediating cholinergic inhibition of N-type calcium currents in sympathetic neurons.
Delmas P., Abogadie FC., Dayrell M., Haley JE., Milligan G., Caulfield MP., Brown DA., Buckley NJ.
One postsynaptic action of the transmitter acetylcholine in sympathetic ganglia is to inhibit somatic N-type Ca2+ currents: this reduces Ca2+-activated K+ currents and facilitates high-frequency spiking. Previous experiments on rat superior cervical ganglion neurons have revealed two distinct pathways for this inhibitory action: a rapid, voltage-dependent inhibition through activation of M4 muscarinic acetylcholine receptors (mAChRs), and a slower, voltage-independent inhibition via M1 mAChRs [Hille (1994) Trends in Neurosci., 17, 531-536]. We have analysed the mechanistic basis for this divergence at the level of the individual G-proteins and their alpha and betagamma subunits, using a combination of site-directed antibody injection, plasmid-driven antisense RNA expression, overexpression of selected constitutively active subunits, and antagonism of endogenously liberated betagamma subunits by over-expression of Dy-binding P-adrenergic receptor kinase 1 (PARK1) peptide. The results indicate that: (i) M4 mAChR-induced inhibition is mediated by GoA; (ii) a and Py subunits released from the activated GoA heterotrimer produce separate voltage-insensitive and voltage-sensitive components of inhibition, respectively; and (iii) voltage-insensitive M1 mAChR-induced inhibition is likely to be mediated by the alpha subunit of Gq. Hence, Ca2+ current inhibition results from the concerted, but independent actions of three different G-protein subunits.