In this study, we identified the receptor subtype activated by endothelin-1 (ET-1) and the subunit composition of the G protein coupling this receptor to increase in cytosolic Ca2+ concentration in rat portal vein myocytes. We used intranuclear antisense oligonucleotide injection to selectively inhibit the expression of G protein subunits. We show here that the endothelin receptor subtype A (ETA)-mediated increase in cytosolic Ca2+ concentration was mainly dependent on Ca2+ release from the intracellular store. ETA receptor-mediated Ca2+ release was selectively inhibited by antisense oligonucleotides that inhibited the expression of alpha11, beta3, and gamma5 subunits, as checked by immunocytochemistry. Intracellular dialysis of a carboxyl terminal anti-betacom antibody and a peptide corresponding to the Gbetagamma binding region of the beta-adrenergic receptor kinase-1 had no effect on the ETA receptor-mediated Ca2+ release. In contrast, a synthetic peptide corresponding to the carboxyl terminus of the alphaq/alpha11 subunit, heparin (an inhibitor of inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptors), and U73122 (an inhibitor of phosphatidylinositol-phospholipase C) inhibited, in a concentration-dependent manner, the ETA receptor-mediated Ca2+ responses. Accumulation of [3H]inositol trisphosphate evoked by norepinephrine peaked at approximately 15 s, whereas that evoked by ET-1 progressively increased within 2 min. In myocytes injected with anti-alphaq antisense oligonucleotides, both amplitude and time course of the norepinephrine-induced Ca2+ release became similar to those of the ET-1-induced Ca2+ response. We conclude that the ETA receptor-mediated Ca2+ release is selectively transduced by the heterotrimeric G11 protein composed of alpha11, beta3, and gamma5 subunits, and that a delayed stimulation of phospholipase C occurs via the alpha11 subunit.