Emerging roles for α2δ subunits in calcium channel function and synaptic connectivity

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Central nervous system function requires the proper formation and function of synapses. The α2δ auxiliary subunits of voltage-gated calcium channels have emerged as regulators of a number of critical events associated with regulation of synaptic function, including channel trafficking and localization, as well as the initial establishment of synaptic structures. In this review, we will discuss some of these recent studies which have uncovered novel mechanisms for α2δ function at the synapse, including the regulation of calcium channel α1 subunit specificity and the promotion of dendritic spine growth. Moreover, we will cover recent advances that have been made in understanding the consequences of aberrant α2δ signaling in injury and disease.


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