Voltage-gated sodium channels

Unless otherwise stated all data on this page refer to the human proteins. Gene information is provided for human (Hs), mouse (Mm) and rat (Rn).

Overview

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Sodium channels are voltage-gated sodium-selective ion channels present in the membrane of most excitable cells. Sodium channels comprise of one pore-forming α subunit, which may be associated with either one or two β subunits [12]. α-Subunits consist of four homologous domains (I–IV), each containing six transmembrane segments (S1–S6) and a pore-forming loop. The positively charged fourth transmembrane segment (S4) acts as a voltage sensor and is involved in channel gating. The crystal structure of the bacterial NavAb channel has revealed a number of novel structural features compared to earlier potassium channel structures including a short selectivity filter with ion selectivity determined by interactions with glutamate side chains [15]. Interestingly, the pore region is penetrated by fatty acyl chains that extend into the central cavity which may allow the entry of small, hydrophobic pore-blocking drugs [15]. Auxiliary β1, β2, β3 and β4 subunits consist of a large extracellular N-terminal domain, a single transmembrane segment and a shorter cytoplasmic domain.

The nomenclature for sodium channels was proposed by Goldin et al., (2000) [11] and approved by the NC-IUPHAR Subcommittee on sodium channels (Catterall et al., 2005, [4]).

Channels and Subunits

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Further reading

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References

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NC-IUPHAR subcommittee and family contributors

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How to cite this family page

Database page citation:

William A. Catterall, Alan L. Goldin, Stephen G. Waxman. Voltage-gated sodium channels. Accessed on 31/08/2016. IUPHAR/BPS Guide to PHARMACOLOGY, http://www.guidetopharmacology.org/GRAC/FamilyDisplayForward?familyId=82.

Concise Guide to PHARMACOLOGY citation:

Alexander SPH, Catterall WA, Kelly E, Marrion N, Peters JA, Benson HE, Faccenda E, Pawson AJ, Sharman JL, Southan C, Davies JA and CGTP Collaborators (2015) The Concise Guide to PHARMACOLOGY 2015/16: Voltage-gated ion channels. Br J Pharmacol. 172: 5904-5941.