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J Biol Chem. 2002 Sep 20;277(38):35393-401. Epub 2002 Jul 18.

Role of amino acid residues in transmembrane segments IS6 and IIS6 of the Na+ channel alpha subunit in voltage-dependent gating and drug block.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98195-7280, USA.


Alanine-scanning mutagenesis of transmembrane segments IS6 and IIS6 of the rat brain Na(v)1.2 channel alpha subunit identified mutations N418A in IS6 and L975A in IIS6 as causing strong positive shifts in the voltage dependence of activation. In contrast, mutations V424A in IS6 and L983A in IIS6 caused strong negative shifts. Most IS6 mutations opposed inactivation from closed states, but most IIS6 mutations favored such inactivation. Mutations L421C and L983A near the intracellular ends of IS6 and IIS6, respectively, exhibited significant sustained Na(+) currents at the end of 30-ms depolarizations, indicating a role for these residues in Na(+) channel fast inactivation. These residues, in combination with residues at the intracellular end of IVS6, are well situated to form an inactivation gate receptor. Mutation I409A in IS6 reduced the affinity of the local anesthetic etidocaine for the inactivated state by 6-fold, and mutations I409A and N418A reduced use-dependent block by etidocaine. No IS6 or IIS6 mutations studied affected inactivated-state affinity or use-dependent block by the neuroprotective drug sipatrigine (compound 619C89). These results suggest that the local anesthetic receptor site is formed primarily by residues in segments IIIS6 and IVS6 with the contribution of a single amino acid in segment IS6.

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