Ras reduces L-type calcium channel current in cardiac myocytes. Corrective effects of L-channels and SERCA2 on [Ca(2+)](i) regulation and cell morphology.


Heart failure is associated with dysregulation of intracellular calcium (Ca(2+)), reduction in myofibrils, and increased activation of Ras, a regulator of signal-transduction pathways. To evaluate the potential effects of Ras on Ca(2+), we expressed constitutively active Ras (Ha-Ras(V12)) in cardiac myocytes and monitored Ca(2+) via fluorescence and electrophysiological techniques. Ha-Ras(V12) reduced the magnitude of the contractile calcium transients. Unexpectedly, however, calcium loading of the sarcoplasmic reticulum was increased, suggesting that Ha-Ras(V12) introduces a defect in excitation-calcium release coupling. Consistent with this idea, L-channel calcium currents were reduced by Ha-Ras(V12), which also downregulated the activity of the L-channel gene promoter. Coexpression of L-channels and SERCA2 largely corrected Ha-Ras(V12)-induced dysregulation of Ca(2+). Furthermore, whereas Ha-Ras(V12) downregulated myofibrils, this effect was blocked by coexpression of L-channels. These results suggest that Ras downregulates L-channel expression, which may play a pathophysiological role in cardiac disease.

Circulation research