Therapeutic approaches to ion channel diseases.
ABSTRACT More than 400 genes are known that encode ion channel subunits. In addition, alternative splicing and heteromeric assembly of different subunits increase tremendously the variety of ion channels. Such many channels are needed to accomplish very complex cellular functions, whereas dysfunction of ion channels are key events in many pathological processes. The recent discovery of ion channelopathies, which, in its more stringent definition, encloses monogenic disorders due to mutations in ion channel genes, has largely contributed to our understanding of the function of the various channel subtypes and of the role of ion channels in multigenic or acquired diseases. Last but not least, ion channels are the main targets of many drugs already used in the clinics. Most of these drugs were introduced in therapy based on the experience acquired quite empirically, and many were discovered afterward to target ion channels. Now, intense research is being conducted to develop new drugs acting selectively on ion channel subtypes and aimed at the understanding of the intimate drug-channel interaction. In this review, we first focus on the pharmacotherapy of ion channel diseases, which includes many drugs targeting ion channels. Then, we describe the molecular pharmacology of ion channels, including the more recent advancement in drug development. Among the newest aspect of ion channel pharmacology, we draw attention to how polymorphisms or mutations in ion channel genes may modify sensitivity to drugs, opening the way toward the development of pharmacogenetics.
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ABSTRACT: Synonymous mutations are usually referred to as "silent", but increasing evidence shows that they are not neutral in a wide range of organisms. We looked into the relationship between synonymous codon usage bias and residue importance of voltage-gated ion channel proteins in mice, rats, and humans. We tested whether translationally optimal codons are associated with transmembrane or channel-forming regions, i.e., the sites that are particularly likely to be involved in the closing and opening of an ion channel. Our hypothesis is that translationally optimal codons are preferred at the sites within transmembrane domains or channel-forming regions in voltage-gated ion channel genes to avoid mistranslation-induced protein misfolding or loss-of-function. Using the Mantel-Haenszel procedure, which applies to categorical data, we found that translationally optimal codons are more likely to be used at transmembrane residues and the residues involved in channel-forming. We also found that the conservation level at synonymous sites in the transmembrane region is significantly higher than that in the non-transmembrane region. This study provides evidence that synonymous sites in voltage-gated ion channel genes are not neutral. Silent mutations at channel-related sites may lead to dysfunction of the ion channel.PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(10):e48541. · 4.09 Impact Factor
Article: Antagonistic regulation of cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator cell surface expression by protein kinases WNK4 and spleen tyrosine kinase.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Members of the WNK (with-no-lysine [K]) subfamily of protein kinases regulate various ion channels involved in sodium, potassium, and chloride homeostasis by either inducing their phosphorylation or regulating the number of channel proteins expressed at the cell surface. Here, we describe findings demonstrating that the cell surface expression of the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) is also regulated by WNK4 in mammalian cells. This effect of WNK4 is independent of the presence of kinase and involves interaction with and inhibition of spleen tyrosine kinase (Syk), which phosphorylates Tyr512 in the first nucleotide-binding domain 1 (NBD1) of CFTR. Transfection of catalytically active Syk into CFTR-expressing baby hamster kidney cells reduces the cell surface expression of CFTR, whereas that of WNK4 promotes it. This is shown by biotinylation of cell surface proteins, immunofluorescence microscopy, and functional efflux assays. Mutation of Tyr512 to either glutamic acid or phenylalanine is sufficient to alter CFTR surface levels. In human airway epithelial cells, downregulation of endogenous Syk and WNK4 confirms their roles as physiologic regulators of CFTR surface expression. Together, our results show that Tyr512 phosphorylation is a novel signal regulating the prevalence of CFTR at the cell surface and that WNK4 and Syk perform an antagonistic role in this process.Molecular and cellular biology 08/2011; 31(19):4076-86. · 6.06 Impact Factor