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J Mol Cell Cardiol. 2010 Jan;48(1):261-9. doi: 10.1016/j.yjmcc.2009.04.017. Epub 2009 May 5.

Functional protein expression of multiple sodium channel alpha- and beta-subunit isoforms in neonatal cardiomyocytes.

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  • 1Medizinische Klinik und Poliklinik I, Universität Würzburg, Josef-Schneider-Strabetae 2, 97080 Würzburg, Germany.

Abstract

Voltage-gated sodium channels are composed of pore-forming alpha- and auxiliary beta-subunits and are responsible for the rapid depolarization of cardiac action potentials. Recent evidence indicates that neuronal tetrodotoxin (TTX) sensitive sodium channel alpha-subunits are expressed in the heart in addition to the predominant cardiac TTX-resistant Na(v)1.5 sodium channel alpha-subunit. These TTX-sensitive isoforms are preferentially localized in the transverse tubules of rodents. Since neonatal cardiomyocytes have yet to develop transverse tubules, we determined the complement of sodium channel subunits expressed in these cells. Neonatal rat ventricular cardiomyocytes were stained with antibodies specific for individual isoforms of sodium channel alpha- and beta-subunits. alpha-actinin, a component of the z-line, was used as an intracellular marker of sarcomere boundaries. TTX-sensitive sodium channel alpha-subunit isoforms Na(v)1.1, Na(v)1.2, Na(v)1.3, Na(v)1.4 and Na(v)1.6 were detected in neonatal rat heart but at levels reduced compared to the predominant cardiac alpha-subunit isoform, Na(v)1.5. Each of the beta-subunit isoforms (beta1-beta4) was also expressed in neonatal cardiac cells. In contrast to adult cardiomyocytes, the alpha-subunits are distributed in punctate clusters across the membrane surface of neonatal cardiomyocytes; no isoform-specific subcellular localization is observed. Voltage clamp recordings in the absence and presence of 20 nM TTX provided functional evidence for the presence of TTX-sensitive sodium current in neonatal ventricular myocardium which represents between 20 and 30% of the current, depending on membrane potential and experimental conditions. Thus, as in the adult heart, a range of sodium channel alpha-subunits are expressed in neonatal myocytes in addition to the predominant TTX-resistant Na(v)1.5 alpha-subunit and they contribute to the total sodium current.

Copyright 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

PMID:
19426735
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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