The isoform-specific direct role of cytoplasmic loops in the gating of two voltage-gated sodium channel isoforms, the human cardiac channel (Nav1.5; hH1) and the human adult skeletal muscle channel (Nav1.4; hSkM1), was investigated. Comparison of biophysical characteristics was made among hSkM1, hH1, and several hSkM1/hH1 chimeras in which the putative cytoplasmic loops that join domain I to II (loop A) and domain II to III (loop B) from one isoform replaced one or both of the analogous loops from the other isoform. For all parameters measured, hSkM1 and hH1 behavior were significantly different. Comparison of hSkM1 and hH1 biophysical characteristics with the function of their respective chimeras indicate that only the half-activation voltage (V a) is directly and differently altered by the species of cytoplasmic loop such that a channel consisting of one or both hSkM1 loops activates at smaller depolarizations, while a larger depolarization is required for activation of a channel containing one or both of the analogous hH1 loops. When either cardiac channel loop A or B is attached to hSkM1, a 6–7 mV depolarizing shift in V a is measured, increasing to a nearly 20 mV depolarization when both cardiac-channel loops are attached. The addition of either skeletal muscle-channel loop to hH1 causes a 7 mV hyperpolarization in V a, which increases to about 10 mV for the double loop chimera. There is no significant difference in either steady-state inactivation or in the recovery from inactivation data between hSkM1 and its chimeras and between hH1 and its chimeras. Data indicate that the cytoplasmic loops contribute directly to the magnitude of the window current, suggesting that channels containing skeletal muscle loops have three times the peak persistent channel activity compared to channels containing the cardiac loops. An electrostatic mechanism, in which surface charge differences among these loops might alter differently the voltage sensed by the gating mechanism of the channel, can not account for the observed isoform-specific effects of these loops only on channel activation voltage. In summary, although the DI-DII and DII-DIII loop structures among isoforms are not well conserved, these data indicate that only one gating parameter, V a is affected directly and in an isoform-specific manner by these divergent loop structures, creating loop-specific window currents and percentages of persistently active channels at physiological voltages that will likely impact the excitability of the cell.
The Journal of Membrane Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 1, 2004
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