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A targeting motif involved in sodium channel clustering at the axonal initial segment.

Juan José Garrido, Pierre Giraud, Edmond Carlier, Fanny Fernandes, Anissa Moussif, Marie-Pierre Fache, Dominique Debanne, Bénédicte Dargent

Science, 2003 Jun 27 , 300, 2091-4

The sorting of sodium channels to axons and the formation of clusters are of primary importance for neuronal electrogenesis. Here, we showed that the cytoplasmic loop connecting domains II and III of the Nav1 subunit contains a determinant conferring compartmentalization in the axonal initial segment of rat hippocampal neurons. Expression of a soluble Nav1.2II-III linker protein led to the disorganization of endogenous sodium channels. The motif was sufficient to redirect a somatodendritic potassium channel to the axonal initial segment, a process involving association with ankyrin G. Thus, this motif may play a fundamental role in controlling electrical excitability during development and plasticity.