Author(s): Schmidt JW, Catterall WA
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Abstract The sodium channel from rat brain is a complex of alpha (260 kd), beta 1 (36 kd), and beta 2 (33 kd) subunits. The alpha and beta 2 subunits are linked by disulfide bonds. The earliest biosynthetic precursor of the alpha subunit is a 203 kd core polypeptide with sufficient high-mannose carbohydrate chains to increase its apparent size to 224 kd. It is processed to 224 kd and 249 kd precursor forms containing complex carbohydrate chains before it achieves the mature size of 260 kd. Most newly synthesized alpha subunits are not disulfide-linked to beta 2 subunits, but remain as a metabolically stable pool of intracellular subunits. alpha subunits disulfide-linked to beta 2 are found preferentially at the cell surface. A possible role for this intracellular pool as a rate-limiting step in the regulation of the cell surface density and localization of sodium channels in developing neurons is proposed.
This article was published in Cell
and referenced in Epilepsy Journal