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J Physiol. 1999 Jul 15;518 ( Pt 2):371-84.

Modulation of rat cardiac sodium channel by the stimulatory G protein alpha subunit.

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Departments of Physiology and Biophysics, The University of Iowa College of Medicine, Iowa City, IA 52242-1109, USA.


1. Modulation of cardiac sodium currents (INa) by the G protein stimulatory alpha subunit (Gsalpha) was studied using patch-clamp techniques on freshly dissociated rat ventricular myocytes. 2. Whole-cell recordings showed that stimulation of beta-adrenergic receptors with 10 microM isoprenaline (isoproterenol, ISO) enhanced INa by 68.4 +/- 9.6 % (mean +/- s.e.m.; n = 7, P < 0.05 vs. baseline). With the addition of 22 microgram ml-1 protein kinase A inhibitor (PKI) to the pipette solution, 10 microM ISO enhanced INa by 30.5 +/- 7.0 % (n = 7, P < 0.05 vs. baseline). With the pipette solution containing both PKI and 20 microgram ml-1 anti-Gsalpha IgG or 20 microgram ml-1 anti-Gsalpha IgG alone, 10 microM ISO produced no change in INa. 3. The effect of Gsalpha on INa was not due to changes in the steady-state activation or inactivation curves, the time course of current decay, the development of inactivation, or the recovery from inactivation. 4. Whole-cell INa was increased by 45.2 +/- 5.3% (n = 13, P < 0.05 vs. control) with pipette solution containing 1 microM Gsalpha27-42 peptide (amino acids 27-42 of rat brain Gsalpha) without altering the properties of Na+ channel kinetics. Furthermore, application of 1 nM Gsalpha27-42 to Na+ channels in inside-out macropatches increased the ensemble-averaged INa by 32.5 +/- 6.8 % (n = 8, P < 0.05 vs. baseline). The increase in INa was reversible upon Gsalpha27-42 peptide washout. Single channel experiments showed that the Gsalpha27-42 peptide did not alter the Na+ single channel current amplitude, the mean open time or the mean closed time, but increased the number of functional channels (N) in the patch. 5. Application of selected short amino acid segments (Gsalpha27-36, Gsalpha33-42 and Gsalpha30-39) of the 16 amino acid Gsalpha peptide (Gsalpha27-42 peptide) showed that only the C-terminal segment of this peptide (Gsalpha33-42) significantly increased INa in a dose-dependent fashion. These results show that cardiac INa is regulated by Gsalpha via a mechanism independent of PKA that results in an increase in the number of functional Na+ channels. In addition, a 10 residue domain (amino acids 33-42) near the N-terminus of Gsalpha is important in modulating cardiac Na+ channels.

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