Voltage-gated sodium (Nav) channels are essential for the rapid upstroke of action potentials and the propagation of electrical signals in nerves and muscles. Defects of Nav channels are associated with a variety of channelopathies. More than 1000 disease-related mutations have been identified in Nav channels, with Nav1.1 and Nav1.5 each harboring more than 400 mutations. Nav channels represent major targets for a wide array of neurotoxins and drugs. Atomic structures of Nav channels are required to understand their function and disease mechanisms. The recently determined atomic structure of the rabbit voltage-gated calcium (Cav) channel Cav1.1 provides a template for homology-based structural modeling of the evolutionarily related Nav channels. In this Resource article, we summarized all the reported disease-related mutations in human Nav channels, generated a homologous model of human Nav1.7, and structurally mapped disease-associated mutations. Before the determination of structures of human Nav channels, the analysis presented here serves as the base framework for mechanistic investigation of Nav channelopathies and for potential structure-based drug discovery.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Drug Discovery
- Cell Biology
- Na channels
- structure modeling