Molecular Aspects of Voltage-Dependent Ion Channels

  • Robert L. Barchi
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 308)


The control of contractility in cardiac and smooth muscle ultimately depends, as it does in skeletal muscle and nerve, on electrical signals generated in the surface membrane. These signals are the result of changes in the ionic conductance of the surface membrane mediated by channel-forming transmembrane proteins. Over the past few years, concomitant with rapid developments in biochemical and molecular biological approaches to the study of these proteins, our understanding of the structure of ion channels and of the relationship between their structure and function has advanced considerably. In this chapter, current concepts of the structure of voltage-dependent ion channels will be considered with particular emphasis on the voltage-dependent sodium channel.


Sodium Channel Repeat Domain Amphipathic Helix Molecular Biological Approach Brain Sodium Channel 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert L. Barchi
    • 1
  1. 1.Mahoney Institute of Neurological SciencesUniversity of Pennsylvania School of MedicinePhiladelphiaUSA

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