Structure of a eukaryotic voltage-gated sodium channel at near-atomic resolution

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Voltage-gated sodium (Nav) channels are responsible for the initiation and propagation of action potentials. They are associated with a variety of channelopathies and are targeted by multiple pharmaceutical drugs and natural toxins. Here, we report the cryogenic electron microscopy structure of a putative Nav channel from American cockroach (designated NavPaS) at 3.8 angstrom resolution. The voltage-sensing domains (VSDs) of the four repeats exhibit distinct conformations. The entrance to the asymmetric selectivity filter vestibule is guarded by heavily glycosylated and disulfide bond–stabilized extracellular loops. On the cytoplasmic side, a conserved amino-terminal domain is placed below VSDI, and a carboxy-terminal domain binds to the III-IV linker. The structure of NavPaS establishes an important foundation for understanding function and disease mechanism of Nav and related voltage-gated calcium channels.

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