Sodium channels are ion channels that transport sodium ions across cellular membranes. Sodium channels are generally either ligand-gated or voltage-gated. In this section, we examine the voltage-gated sodium channel as a specific example of a protein This particular channel is quite selective for sodium ions. Ion channels are present in the membranes of all excitable cells. Ion channels are one of the two classes of ionophoric proteins, along with ion transporters (including the sodium-potassium pump, sodium-calcium exchanger, and sodium-glucose transport proteins).‎Basic features · ‎Diversity · ‎Detailed structure · ‎Ion channel blockers.


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Selectivity[ edit ] Sodium channels are highly selective for the transport of sodium ions across cell membranes.

Ion channel - Wikipedia

The high selectivity with respect to the sodium ion is achieved in many sodium ion channels ways. All involve encapsulation of the sodium ion in a cavity of specific size within a larger molecule. G — glycosylationP — phosphorylationS — ion selectivity, I — inactivation.

The highly sodium ion channels S4 segment acts as the channel's voltage sensor. The voltage sensitivity of this channel is due to positive amino acids located at every third position. Correspondingly, they assemble as tetramers to produce a functioning channel.

Some transient receptor potential channels: This group of channels, normally referred to simply as TRP channels, is named after their role in Drosophila phototransduction.

Structure and function of voltage-gated sodium channels

This family, containing at least 28 members, is incredibly diverse in its method sodium ion channels activation. This family is subdivided into 6 subfamilies based on homology: Hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated channels: The opening of these channels is due to hyperpolarization rather than the depolarization required for other cyclic nucleotide-gated channels.

As these channels open under hyperpolarizing conditions, they function as pacemaking channels in the heart, particularly the SA node.

Voltage-gated proton channels open with depolarization, sodium ion channels in a strongly pH-sensitive manner. The result is that these channels open only when the electrochemical gradient is outward, such that their opening will only allow protons to leave cells.


Their function thus appears to be acid extrusion from cells. Each of these is an homologous domain with a similar sequence of amino acids.

Sodium channel - Wikipedia

In an actual membrane, of course, the alpha-helices are not in a line, but clustered. This is shown in top view in the figure to the left.


At the center of the four domains is the channel through which the sodium ions move. Opening of Channel by Voltage Sensor The voltage-gated sodium channel has several functional parts.

One sodium ion channels of the channel determines its ion selectivity. This particular channel is quite selective for sodium ions. Abstract Sodium channels mediate fast depolarization and conduct electrical impulses throughout nerve, muscle and heart. This paper reviews the links between sodium channel structure and function.

Sodium channels sodium ion channels a modular architecture, with distinct regions for the pore and the gates. Voltage-gated sodium ion channels open when a membrane is depolarised voltage across the plasma membrane increases to a certain threshold.

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