The process of calcium entry in T cells is a multichannel and multi-step process. We have studied the requirement for L-type calcium channels (Cav1.1) ?1S subunits during calcium entry after TCR stimulation. High expression levels of Cav1.1 channels were detected in activated T cells. Sequencing and cloning of Cav1.1 channel cDNA from T cells revealed that a single splice variant is expressed. This variant lacks exon 29, which encodes the linker region adjacent to the voltage sensor, but contains five new N-terminal exons that substitute for exons 1 and 2, which are found in the Cav1.1 muscle counterpart. Overexpression studies using cloned T cell Cav1.1 in 293HEK cells (that lack TCR) suggest that the gating of these channels was altered. Knockdown of Cav1.1 channels in T cells abrogated calcium entry after TCR stimulation, suggesting that Cav1.1 channels are controlled by TCR signaling.