Channelpedia

PubMed 22911851


Referenced in Channelpedia wiki pages of: none

Automatically associated channels: Nav1.7



Title: Splice variants of Na(V)1.7 sodium channels have distinct β subunit-dependent biophysical properties.

Authors: Clare Farmer, James J Cox, E V Fletcher, C Geoffrey Woods, John N Wood, Stephanie Schorge

Journal, date & volume: PLoS ONE, 2012 , 7, e41750

PubMed link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22911851


Abstract
Genes encoding the α subunits of neuronal sodium channels have evolutionarily conserved sites of alternative splicing but no functional differences have been attributed to the splice variants. Here, using Na(V)1.7 as an exemplar, we show that the sodium channel isoforms are functionally distinct when co-expressed with β subunits. The gene, SCN9A, encodes the α subunit of the Na(V)1.7 channel, and contains both sites of alternative splicing that are highly conserved. In conditions where the intrinsic properties of the Na(V)1.7 splice variants were similar when expressed alone, co-expression of β1 subunits had different effects on channel availability that were determined by splicing at either site in the α subunit. While the identity of exon 5 determined the degree to which β1 subunits altered voltage-dependence of activation (P = 0.027), the length of exon 11 regulated how far β1 subunits depolarised voltage-dependence of inactivation (P = 0.00012). The results could have a significant impact on channel availability, for example with the long version of exon 11, the co-expression of β1 subunits could lead to nearly twice as large an increase in channel availability compared to channels containing the short version. Our data suggest that splicing can change the way that Na(V) channels interact with β subunits. Because splicing is conserved, its unexpected role in regulating the functional impact of β subunits may apply to multiple voltage-gated sodium channels, and the full repertoire of β subunit function may depend on splicing in α subunits.