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Structure and function of voltage-dependent sodium channels: comparison of brain II and cardiac isoforms.

H A Fozzard, D A Hanck

Physiol. Rev., 1996 Jul , 76, 887-926

Cardiac and nerve Na channels have broadly similar functional properties and amino acid sequences, but they demonstrate specific differences in gating, permeation, ionic block, modulation, and pharmacology. Resolution of three-dimensional structures of Na channels is unlikely in the near future, but a number of amino acid sequences from a variety of species and isoforms are known so that channel differences can be exploited to gain insight into the relationship of structure to function. The combination of molecular biology to create chimeras and channels with point mutations and high-resolution electrophysiological techniques to study function encourage the idea that predictions of structure from function are possible. With the goal of understanding the special properties of the cardiac Na channel, this review examines the structural (sequence) similarities between the cardiac and nerve channels and considers what is known about the relationship of structure to function for voltage-dependent Na channels in general and for the cardiac Na channels in particular.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8757791