Sodium channels are a critical component of electrical signaling in neurons. The availability of sodium channels determines neuronal electrical excitability. Slow inactivation (SI) regulates sodium channel availability. Our preliminary data demonstrate that the kinetics of SI is subject to modulation by sodium channel phosphorylation. Changes in the level of SI due to changes in channel phosphorylation is therefore a likely candidate by which neuronal excitability may be modulated by activation of receptors that trigger phosphorylation cascades. Events such as these accompany the cellular processes that underlie many normal neurological processes. Changes in sodium channel availability, and therefore neuronal excitability, also underlie diseases of excitability such as epilepsy. Our research, therefore, will elucidate fundamentally important mechanisms that control both physiological and pathophysiological processes in the brain through changes in electrical excitability. The long-term objective of this research is to determine the contribution of sodium channel SI to neuronal excitability.
The specific aims of this research proposal are to: (1) test the hypothesis, based on our preliminary results, that SI is modulated by activators of cyclic AMP-dependent phosphorylation via protein kinase A and by activators of diacylglycerol-dependent phosphorylation via protein kinase C, that phosphorylation-induced modulation of sodium channel SI occurs at identified consensus phosphorylation sites in the neuronal sodium channel, and that modulation varies as a function of co-expression with WTor mutant beta-1 subunit; (2) test the hypothesis that SI is modulated by CaM kinase II; (3) test the hypothesis that local anesthetics and anticonvulsants affect or mimic SI, and that this varies as a function of beta-1 subunit co-expression; test the hypothesis that pharmacological alterations of sodium channel gating are correlated with changes in gating currents and charge movement. In pursuit of these specific aims, we will record ionic and gating currents to measure the voltage dependence and rates of slow inactivation, as well as other biophysical properties, from rat brain sodium channels expressed in (1) HEK 293 cells using patch clamp and (2) Xenopus oocytes using cut-open oocyte voltage clamp.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
Research Project (R01)
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Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Neurosciences 2 (MDCN)
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Silberberg, Shai D
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Utah State University
Schools of Arts and Sciences
United States
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Groome, James R; Dice, Margaret C; Fujimoto, Esther et al. (2007) Charge immobilization of skeletal muscle Na+ channels: role of residues in the inactivation linker. Biophys J 93:1519-33
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