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Current Topics in Membranes

R J French, S Noskov
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
2016: Current Topics in Membranes
C Barbosa, T R Cummins
Pain is a serious health problem that impacts the lives of many individuals. Hyperexcitability of peripheral sensory neurons contributes to both acute and chronic pain syndromes. Because voltage-gated sodium currents are crucial to the transmission of electrical signals in peripheral sensory neurons, the channels that underlie these currents are attractive targets for pain therapeutics. Sodium currents and channels in peripheral sensory neurons are complex. Multiple-channel isoforms contribute to the macroscopic currents in nociceptive sensory neurons...
2016: Current Topics in Membranes
C E Morris, B Joos
Sick excitable cells (ie, Nav channel-expressing cells injured by trauma, ischemia, inflammatory, and other conditions) typically exhibit "acquired sodium channelopathies" which, we argue, reflect bleb-damaged membranes rendering their Nav channels "leaky." The situation is excitotoxic because untreated Nav leak exacerbates bleb damage. Fast Nav inactivation (a voltage-independent process) is so tightly coupled, kinetically speaking, to the inherently voltage-dependent process of fast activation that when bleb damage accelerates and thus left-shifts macroscopic fast activation, fast inactivation accelerates to the same extent...
2016: Current Topics in Membranes
M Liu, K-C Yang, S C Dudley
The cardiac Na(+) channel (Nav1.5) conducts a depolarizing inward Na(+) current that is responsible for the generation of the upstroke Phase 0 of the action potential. In heart tissue, changes in Na(+) currents can affect conduction velocity and impulse propagation. The cardiac Nav1.5 is also involved in determination of the action potential duration, since some channels may reopen during the plateau phase, generating a persistent or late inward current. Mutations of cardiac Nav1.5 can induce gain or loss of channel function because of an increased late current or a decrease of peak current, respectively...
2016: Current Topics in Membranes
M-R Ghovanloo, K Aimar, R Ghadiry-Tavi, A Yu, P C Ruben
Voltage-gated sodium channels are present in different tissues within the human body, predominantly nerve, muscle, and heart. The sodium channel is composed of four similar domains, each containing six transmembrane segments. Each domain can be functionally organized into a voltage-sensing region and a pore region. The sodium channel may exist in resting, activated, fast inactivated, or slow inactivated states. Upon depolarization, when the channel opens, the fast inactivation gate is in its open state. Within the time frame of milliseconds, this gate closes and blocks the channel pore from conducting any more sodium ions...
2016: Current Topics in Membranes
R B Clark, W R Giles
It is now well established that the slowly inactivating component of the Na(+) current (INa-L) in the mammalian heart is a significant regulator of the action potential waveform. This insight has led to detailed studies of the role of INa-L in a number of important and challenging pathophysiological settings. These include genetically based ventricular arrhythmias (LQT 1, 2, and 3), ventricular arrhythmias arising from progressive cardiomyopathies (including diabetic), and proarrhythmic abnormalities that develop during local or global ventricular ischemia...
2016: Current Topics in Membranes
V S Gawali, H Todt
Voltage-gated Na(+) channels (VGSCs) initiate action potentials thereby giving rise to rapid transmission of electrical signals along cell membranes and between cells. Depolarization of the cell membrane causes VGSCs to open but also gives rise to a nonconducting state termed inactivation. Inactivation of VGSCs serves a critical physiologic function as it determines the extent of excitability of neurons and of muscle cells. Depending on the time course of development and removal of inactivation both "fast-" and "slow"-inactivated states have been described...
2016: Current Topics in Membranes
N D'Avanzo
The lipid landscapes of cellular membranes are complex and dynamic, are tissue dependent, and can change with the age and the development of a variety of diseases. Researchers are now gaining new appreciation for the regulation of ion channel proteins by the membrane lipids in which they are embedded. Thus, as membrane lipids change, for example, during the development of disease, it is likely that the ionic currents that conduct through the ion channels embedded in these membranes will also be altered. This chapter provides an overview of the complex regulation of prokaryotic and eukaryotic voltage-dependent sodium (Nav) channels by fatty acids, sterols, glycerophospholipids, sphingolipids, and cannabinoids...
2016: Current Topics in Membranes
J J Winters, L L Isom
Voltage-gated Na(+) channels (VGSCs) isolated from mammalian neurons are heterotrimeric complexes containing one pore-forming α subunit and two non-pore-forming β subunits. In excitable cells, VGSCs are responsible for the initiation of action potentials. VGSC β subunits are type I topology glycoproteins, containing an extracellular amino-terminal immunoglobulin (Ig) domain with homology to many neural cell adhesion molecules (CAMs), a single transmembrane segment, and an intracellular carboxyl-terminal domain...
2016: Current Topics in Membranes
K R DeMarco, C E Clancy
Heart rhythms arise from electrical activity generated by precisely timed opening and closing of ion channels in individual cardiac myocytes. Opening of the primary cardiac voltage-gated sodium (NaV1.5) channel initiates cellular depolarization and the propagation of an electrical action potential that promotes coordinated contraction of the heart. The regularity of these contractile waves is critically important since it drives the primary function of the heart: to act as a pump that delivers blood to the brain and vital organs...
2016: Current Topics in Membranes
M A Kasimova, D Granata, V Carnevale
Voltage-gated sodium channels (Nav) are responsible for the rising phase of the action potential. Their role in electrical signal transmission is so relevant that their emergence is believed to be one of the crucial factors enabling development of nervous system. The presence of voltage-gated sodium-selective channels in bacteria (BacNav) has raised questions concerning the evolutionary history of the ones in animals. Here we review some of the milestones in the field of Nav phylogenetic analysis and discuss some of the most important sequence features that distinguish these channels from voltage-gated potassium channels and transient receptor potential channels...
2016: Current Topics in Membranes
C Ing, R Pomès
Voltage-gated ion channels are responsible for the generation and propagation of action potentials in electrically excitable cells. Molecular dynamics simulations have become a useful tool to study the molecular basis of ion transport in atomistic models of voltage-gated ion channels. The elucidation of several three-dimensional structures of bacterial voltage-gated sodium channels (Nav) in 2011 and 2012 opened the way to detailed computational investigations of this important class of membrane proteins. Here we review the numerous simulation studies of Na(+) permeation and selectivity in bacterial Nav channels published in the past 5years...
2016: Current Topics in Membranes
V Oakes, S Furini, C Domene
The permeation of ions and other molecules across biological membranes is an inherent requirement of all cellular organisms. Ion channels, in particular, are responsible for the conduction of charged species, hence modulating the propagation of electrical signals. Despite the universal physiological implications of this property, the molecular functioning of ion channels remains ambiguous. The combination of atomistic structural data with computational methodologies, such as molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, is now considered routine to investigate structure-function relationships in biological systems...
2016: Current Topics in Membranes
C Boiteux, T W Allen
Sodium channels are chief proteins involved in electrical signaling in the nervous system, enabling critical functions like heartbeat and brain activity. New high-resolution X-ray structures for bacterial sodium channels have created an opportunity to see how these proteins operate at the molecular level. An important challenge to overcome is establishing relationships between the structures and functions of mammalian and bacterial channels. Bacterial sodium channels are known to exhibit the main structural features of their mammalian counterparts, as well as several key functional characteristics, including selective ion conduction, voltage-dependent gating, pore-based inactivation and modulation by local anesthetic, antiarrhythmic and antiepileptic drugs...
2016: Current Topics in Membranes
B S Zhorov, D B Tikhonov
Voltage-gated sodium channels are targets for many toxins and medically important drugs. Despite decades of intensive studies in industry and academia, atomic mechanisms of action are still not completely understood. The major cause is a lack of high-resolution structures of eukaryotic channels and their complexes with ligands. In these circumstances a useful approach is homology modeling that employs as templates X-ray structures of potassium channels and prokaryotic sodium channels. On one hand, due to inherent limitations of this approach, results should be treated with caution...
2016: Current Topics in Membranes
G Toledo, C Hanifin, S Geffeney, E D Brodie
Convergent evolution of similar adaptive traits may arise from either common or disparate molecular and physiological mechanisms. The forces that determine the degree of underlying mechanistic similarities across convergent phenotypes are highly debated and poorly understood. Some garter snakes are able to consume newts that possess the channel blocking compound tetrodotoxin (TTX). Despite belonging to unrelated lineages, both the predators and prey have independently evolved remarkably similar physiological mechanisms of resistance to TTX that involve chemical and structural changes in voltage-gated sodium channels (NaV)...
2016: Current Topics in Membranes
B R Green, B M Olivera
The venoms of cone snails provide a rich source of neuroactive peptides (conotoxins). Several venom peptide families have been identified that are either agonists (ι- and δ-conotoxins) or antagonists (μ- and μO-conotoxins) of voltage-gated sodium channels (VGSCs). Members of these conotoxin classes have been integral in identifying and characterizing specific neurotoxin binding sites on the channel. Furthermore, given the specificity of some of these peptides for one sodium channel subtype over another, conotoxins have also proven useful in exploring differences between VGSC subtypes...
2016: Current Topics in Membranes
T N Vien, P G DeCaen
This chapter describes the adaptive features found in voltage-gated sodium channels (NaVs) of prokaryotes and eukaryotes. These two families are distinct, having diverged early in evolutionary history but maintain a surprising degree of convergence in function. While prokaryotic NaVs are required for growth and motility, eukaryotic NaVs selectively conduct fast electrical currents for short- and long-range signaling across cell membranes in mammalian organs. Current interest in prokaryotic NaVs is stoked by their resolved high-resolution structures and functional features which are reminiscent of eukaryotic NaVs...
2016: Current Topics in Membranes
E G Moczydlowski
This review glances at the voltage-gated sodium (Na(+)) channel (NaV) from the skewed perspective of natural history and the history of ideas. Beginning with the earliest natural philosophers, the objective of biological science and physiology was to understand the basis of life and discover its intimate secrets. The idea that the living state of matter differs from inanimate matter by an incorporeal spirit or mystical force was central to vitalism, a doctrine based on ancient beliefs that persisted until the last century...
2016: Current Topics in Membranes
Jeffrey H Miner
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
2016: Current Topics in Membranes
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