Biochemical properties of sodium channels in a wide range of excitable tissues studied with site-directed antibodies.

PMID 2848576


Antibodies against a peptide (SP19) corresponding to a highly conserved, predicted intracellular region of the sodium channel alpha subunit bind rat brain sodium channels with a similar affinity as the peptide antigen, indicating that the corresponding segment of the alpha subunit is fully accessible in the intact channel structure. These antibodies recognize sodium channel alpha subunits from rat or eel brain, rat skeletal muscle, rat heart, eel electroplax, and locust nervous system. alpha subunits from all these tissues except rat skeletal muscle are substrates for phosphorylation by cAMP-dependent protein kinase. Disulfide linkage of alpha and beta 2 subunits was observed for both the RI and RII subtypes of rat brain sodium channels and for sodium channels from eel brain but not for sodium channels from rat heart, eel electroplax, or locust nerve cord. Treatment with neuraminidase reduced the apparent molecular weight of sodium channel alpha subunits from rat and eel brain and eel electroplax by 22,000-58,000, those from heart by 8000, and those from locust nerve cord by less than 4000. Our results provide the first identification of sodium channel alpha subunits from rat heart and locust brain and nerve cord and show that sodium channel alpha subunits are expressed with different subunit associations and posttranslational modifications in different excitable tissues.