Voltage-activated sodium currents in a cell line expressing a Cu,Zn superoxide dismutase typical of familial ALS

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THE whole-cell configuration of the patch-clamp recording was used to study the voltage-dependent Na+ currents in a model system for the familial form of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) associated with mutations in Cu, Zn superoxide dismutase. Here we report that the amplitude of voltage-gated Na+ currents is significantly reduced in cell lines expressing mutant Cu, Zn superoxide dismutase G93A when compared with the parental, untransfected cell line and to a cell line expressing the wild-type enzyme. This effect is associated with a shift toward positive values of the steady-state inactivation curve of the Na+ currents. These results indicate that expression of a Cu, Zn superoxide dismutase typical of patients affect with familial ALS influence the functionality of the voltage-dependent Na+channels; this effect may contribute to the pathogenesis of the disease.

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