L-cysteine (L-cys) increases the amplitude of T-type Ca2+ currents in rat T-rich nociceptor-like dorsal root ganglia neurons. The modulation of T-type Ca2+ channel gating by L-cys was studied by fitting Markov state models to whole-cell currents recorded from T-rich neurons. The best fitting model tested included three resting states and inactivation from the second resting state and the open state. Inactivation and the final opening step were voltage-independent, whereas transitions between the resting states and deactivation were voltage-dependent. The transition rates between the first two resting states were an order of magnitude faster than those between the second and third resting states, and the voltage-dependency of forward transitions through resting states was two to three times greater than for analogous backward transitions. Analysis with the best fitting model suggested that L-cys increases current amplitude mainly by increasing the transition rate from resting to open and decreasing the transition rate from open to inactivated. An additional model was developed that could account for the bi-exponential time course of recovery from inactivation of the currents and the high frequency of blank sweeps in single channel recordings. This model detected basically the same effects of L-cys on channel gating as the best fitting model. © 2010 by the Biophysical Society.
Nelson, M. T., Milescu, L. S., Todorovic, S. M., & Scroggs, R. S. (2010). A modeling study of T-type Ca2+ Channel gating and modulation by L-cysteine in rat nociceptors. Biophysical Journal, 98(2), 197–206. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bpj.2009.10.007