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J Biol Chem. 1996 Nov 15;271(46):28837-43.

cAMP-dependent phosphorylation of two sites in the alpha subunit of the cardiac sodium channel.

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


The voltage-sensitive Na+ channel is responsible for generating action potentials in the heart which are critical for coordinated cardiac muscle contraction. Cardiac Na+ channels are regulated by cAMP-dependent phosphorylation, but the sites of phosphorylation are not known. Using mammalian cells expressing the rat cardiac Na+ channel (rH1) alpha subunit and site-specific antibodies, we have shown that the alpha subunit of rat heart Na+ channel is phosphorylated selectively by cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA) in vitro and in intact cells. Analysis of the sites of phosphorylation by two-dimensional phosphopeptide mapping and site-directed mutagenesis of fusion proteins revealed that the cardiac alpha subunit is phosphorylated selectively in vitro by PKA on Ser526 and Ser529 in the intracellular loop connecting homologous domains I and II (LI-II). These two residues were phosphorylated in intact cells expressing the rH1 alpha subunit when PKA was activated. Our results define a different pattern of phosphorylation of LI-II of cardiac and brain Na+ channels and implicate phosphorylation of Ser526 and Ser529 in the differential regulation of cardiac and brain Na+ channels by PKA.

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