Channelopathies comprise various diseases caused by defects of ion channels. Modifications of their biophysical properties are common and have been widely studied. However, ion channels are heterogeneous multi-molecular complexes that are extensively modulated and undergo a maturation process comprising numerous steps of structural modifications and intracellular trafficking. Perturbations of these processes can give rise to aberrant channels that cause pathologies. Here we review channelopathies of the nervous system associated with dysfunctions at the post-translational level (folding, trafficking, degradation, subcellular localization, interactions with associated proteins and structural post-translational modifications). We briefly outline the physiology of ion channels' maturation and discuss examples of defective mechanisms, focusing in particular on voltage-gated sodium channels, which are implicated in numerous neurological disorders. We also shortly introduce possible strategies to develop therapeutic approaches that target these processes.
This article is part of the Special Issue entitled ‘Channelopathies.’