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Arthur Beyder, James L. Rae, Cheryl Bernard, Peter R. Strege, Frederick Sachs and Gianrico Farrugia Mechanosensitivity of Nav1.5, a voltage-sensitive sodium channel The Journal of Physiology 588

Article first published online: 15 DEC 2010 | DOI: 10.1113/jphysiol.2010.199034

The heart, gastrointestinal tract and skeletal muscle are examples of electromechanical systems – excitable tissues with mechanical function. In such systems, mechano-electrical feedback is a process by which mechanical stimuli affect electrical performance. Electrical excitability of electromechanical systems is mediated by voltage-gated ion channels. These are proteins that are embedded in cell membranes and conduct ions in response to voltage shifts. In this study, we examined the effects of mechanical stretch on performance of a voltage gated sodium selective ion channel (Nav1.5) found in the heart and gut. Stretch had effects on various functional aspects of these channels. We showed that stretch increased peak sodium current, shifted the voltage dependence of activation and channel availability, and stabilized inactivation. These findings suggest the involvement of Nav1.5 in mechano-electrical feedback.

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