Molecular Basis for Ligand Modulation of a Mammalian Voltage-Gated Ca2+ Channel

Yanyu Zhao, Gaoxingyu Huang, Jianping Wu, Qiurong Wu, Shuai Gao, Zhen Yan, Jianlin Lei, Nieng Yan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

159 Scopus citations


The L-type voltage-gated Ca2+ (Cav) channels are modulated by various compounds exemplified by 1,4-dihydropyridines (DHP), benzothiazepines (BTZ), and phenylalkylamines (PAA), many of which have been used for characterizing channel properties and for treatment of hypertension and other disorders. Here, we report the cryoelectron microscopy (cryo-EM) structures of Cav1.1 in complex with archetypal antagonistic drugs, nifedipine, diltiazem, and verapamil, at resolutions of 2.9 Å, 3.0 Å, and 2.7 Å, respectively, and with a DHP agonist Bay K 8644 at 2.8 Å. Diltiazem and verapamil traverse the central cavity of the pore domain, directly blocking ion permeation. Although nifedipine and Bay K 8644 occupy the same fenestration site at the interface of repeats III and IV, the coordination details support previous functional observations that Bay K 8644 is less favored in the inactivated state. These structures elucidate the modes of action of different Cav ligands and establish a framework for structure-guided drug discovery. A view on how both agonists and antagonists interact with a voltage-gated calcium channel opens up avenues for understanding channel gating and new ligand design.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1495-1506.e12
Issue number6
StatePublished - May 30 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


  • Bay K 8644
  • Ca 1.1
  • Ca agonist
  • Ca antagonist
  • cryo-EM structure
  • dihydropyridine
  • diltiazem
  • nifedipine
  • verapamil
  • voltage-gated calcium channels


Dive into the research topics of 'Molecular Basis for Ligand Modulation of a Mammalian Voltage-Gated Ca2+ Channel'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this