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Channels (Austin). 2012 Sep-Oct;6(5):403-6. doi: 10.4161/chan.21807. Epub 2012 Sep 1.

Molecular and functional determinants of local anesthetic inhibition of NaChBac.

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Department of Anesthesiology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, CA.


In our recent publication, we describe the local anesthetic (LA) inhibition of the prokaryotic voltage gated sodium channel NaChBac. Despite the numerous functional and putative structural differences with the mammalian sodium channels, the data show that LA compounds effectively and reversibly inhibit NaChBac channels in a concentration range similar to resting blockade on eukaryotic Navs. In addition to current reduction, LA application accelerated channel inactivation kinetics of NaChBac which could be accounted for in a simple state-model whereby local anesthetics increase the probability of entering the inactivated state. We have further explored what state (or states) local anesthetic blockade of NaChBac could pertain to eukaryotic sodium channels, and what molecular similarities exist between these disparate channel families. Here we show that the rate of recovery from inactivation remains unaffected in the presence of local anesthetics. Further, we show that two sites that support use-dependent inhibition in eukaryotic channels, do not affect block to the same extent when mutated in NaChBac channels. The data indicate that the molecular determinants and the inherent mechanisms for LA block are likely to be divergent between bacterial and eukaryotic Navs, but future experiments will help define possible similarities.

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