Voltage-dependent and Ca2+-dependent inactivation (VDI and CDI, respectively) of CaV channels are two biologically consequential feedback mechanisms that fine-tune Ca2+ entry into neurons and cardiomyocytes. Although known to be initiated by distinct molecular events, how these processes obstruct conduction through the channel pore remains poorly defined. Here, focusing on ultrahighly conserved tryptophan residues in the interdomain interfaces near the selectivity filter of CaV1.3, we demonstrate a critical role for asymmetric conformational changes in mediating VDI and CDI. Specifically, mutagenesis of the domain III–IV interface, but not others, enhanced VDI. Molecular dynamics simulations demonstrate that mutations in distinct selectivity filter interfaces differentially impact conformational flexibility. Furthermore, mutations in distinct domains preferentially disrupt CDI mediated by the N- versus C-lobes of CaM, thus uncovering a scheme of structural bifurcation of CaM signaling. These findings highlight the fundamental importance of the asymmetric arrangement of the pseudotetrameric CaV pore domain for feedback inhibition.

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