Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The NaV1.7 sodium channel: from molecule to man

The voltage-gated sodium channel NaV1.7 is preferentially expressed in peripheral somatic and visceral sensory neurons, olfactory sensory neurons and sympathetic ganglion neurons. NaV1.7 accumulates at nerve fibre endings and amplifies small subthreshold depolarizations, poising it to act as a threshold channel that regulates excitability. Genetic and functional studies have added to the evidence that NaV1.7 is a major contributor to pain signalling in humans, and homology modelling based on crystal structures of ion channels suggests an atomic-level structural basis for the altered gating of mutant NaV1.7 that causes pain.

Sulayman D. Dib-Hajj, et al.

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