The major function of the voltage-gated calcium channels is to provide the Ca2+ flux into
the cell. L-type voltage-gated calcium channels (Cav1) serve as voltage sensors that couple membrane
depolarization to many intracellular processes. Electrical activity in excitable cells affects gene expression
through signaling pathways involved in the excitation-transcription (E-T) coupling. E-T coupling
starts with activation of the Cav1 channel and results in initiation of the cAMP-response element binding
protein (CREB)-dependent transcription. In this review we discuss the new quantitative approaches
to measuring E-T signaling events. We describe the use of wavelet transform to detect heterogeneity of
transcriptional activation in nuclei. Furthermore, we discuss the properties of discovered microdomains
of nuclear signaling associated with the E-T coupling and the basis of the frequency-dependent transcriptional regulation.
Keywords: Image analysis, microdomain, signaling, transcription, voltage-gated calcium channels, wavelet.
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