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Gating pore currents, a new pathological mechanism underlying cardiac arrhythmias associated with dilated cardiomyopathy.

Publication Type:

Journal Article

Source:

Channels (Austin), Volume 9, Issue 3, p.139-44 (2015)

Abstract:

<p>Voltage-gated ion channels (VGIC) are transmembrane proteins responsible for the generation of electrical signals in excitable cells. VGIC were first described in 1952 by Hodgkin and Huxley, (1) and have since been associated with various physiological functions such as propagating nerve impulses, locomotion, and cardiac excitability. VGIC include channels specialized in the selective passage of K(+), Ca(2+) Na(+), or H(+). They are composed of 2 main structures: the pore domain (PD) and the voltage sensor domain (VSD). The PD ensures the physiological flow of ions and is typically composed of 8 transmembrane segments (TM). The VSD detects voltage variations and is composed of 4 TM (S1-S4). Given their crucial physiological role, VGIC dysfunctions are associated with diverse pathologies known as ion channelopathies. These dysfunctions usually affect the membrane expression of ion channels or voltage-dependent conformational changes of the pore. However, an increasing number of ion channelopathies, including periodic paralysis, dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) associated with cardiac arrhythmias, and peripheral nerve hyperexcitability (PNH), have been linked to the appearance of a new pathological mechanism involving the creation of an alternative permeation pathway through the normally non-conductive VSD of VGIC. This permeation pathway is called the gating pore or omega pore.</p>

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