Voltage-gated calcium channels: Novel targets for cancer therapy

Nam Nhut Phan, Chih Yang Wang, Chien Fu Chen, Zhengda Sun, Ming Derg Lai, Yen Chang Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

103 Citations (Scopus)


Voltage-gated calcium channels (VGCCs) comprise five subtypes: The L-type; R-type; N-type; P/Q-type; and T-type, which are encoded by α1 subunit genes. Calcium ion channels also have confirmed roles in cellular functions, including mitogenesis, proliferation, differentiation, apoptosis and metastasis. An association between VGCCs, a reduction in proliferation and an increase in apoptosis in prostate cancer cells has also been reported. Therefore, in the present study, the online clinical database Oncomine was used to identify the alterations in the mRNA expression level of VGCCs in 19 cancer subtypes. Overall, VGCC family genes exhibited under-expression in numerous types of cancer, including brain, breast, kidney and lung cancers. Notably, the majority of VGCC family members (CACNA1C, CACNA1D, CACNA1A, CACNA1B, CACNA1E, CACNA1H and CACNA1I) exhibited low expression in brain tumors, with mRNA expression levels in the top 1-9% of downregulated gene rankings. A total of 5 VGCC family members (CACNA1A, CACNA1B, CACNA1E, CACNA1G and CACNA1I) were under-expressed in breast cancer, with a gene ranking in the top 1-10% of the low-expressed genes compared with normal tissue. In kidney and lung cancers, CACNA1S, CACNA1C, CACNA1D, CACNA1A and CACNA1H exhibited low expression, with gene rankings in the top 1-8% of downregulated genes. In conclusion, the present findings may contribute to the development of new cancer treatment approaches by identifying target genes involved in specific types of cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2059-2074
Number of pages16
JournalOncology Letters
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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